PN claims ARMS bills increased by up to €600 each year under Labour

In a press conference, the PN says that some families are paying up to €600 more each year for water and electricity because bills were being issued every two months, affecting which unit charge rates are used to calculate totals

The PN says that with ARMS issuing bills more frequently, families were having to pay more each year
The PN says that with ARMS issuing bills more frequently, families were having to pay more each year

In another case related to water bills, Sammut explained how families that had consumed more than the monthly average, had no time to make-up for it during other months, due to receiving bills every two months or earlier.

The units charged to those families therefore were more expensive. 

Sammut mentioned a family of three who had consumed more than the monthly average. The family was charged €5.14 per unit instead of €1.40 after exceeding the 33-unit allocation per person. 

Some Maltese families are paying up to €600 on water and electricty under the Labour government, contrary to the administration's claims of having introduced lower tariffs, the Nationalist Party said today.

In a press conference that is still underway, PN spokesman David Agius said that the party had examined 100 bills passed on by families.

"Of those bills, 80 percent were found to have been over-charged by anywhere between €6 and €600 in one year," he said. "The initial examination of ARMS bills covered 2015, 2016 and 2017 and clearly disproved the government's claims of having redacted water and electricity bills."

Engineer Mark Anthony Sammut said that it was immediately obvious that the overcharges was a result of ARMS issuing bills every two months, thereby affecting charges for unit tariff bands.

“If ARMS send more bills at a shorter period of time, the higher the chance irregularities may occur in the amount due to be paid,” Sammut claimed. 

Sammut said that they were being “conservative” in the way the amount due to the induvial by ARMS was calculated, stating that in the calculations released, the eco-contribution tax was not part of the final calculations, therefore some families may be eligible to further compensation. 

In one case, a family of four utilised 8,869 electricity units over 12 months, which should all have been charged at 16c, but since 1,400 of those units were consumed within two months, those were charged at 34c, resulting in a total bill of €1,774 for 2015, instead of €1,180.

In another case related to water bills, Sammut explained how families that had consumed more than the monthly average, had no time to make-up for it during other months, due to receiving bills every two months or earlier.

The units charged to those families therefore were more expensive. 

Sammut mentioned a family of three who had consumed more than the monthly average. The family was charged €5.14 per unit instead of €1.40 after exceeding the 33-unit allocation per person. 

Sociologist Michael Briguglio, in his first official appearance for the PN, said that many families were experiencing an increase in water and electricity bills, despite tariffs not having been affected.

“It is good to see that the people and independent media has reacted, showing that the promises made by Konrad Mizzi on water and electricity bills were not true,” Briguglio said. 

When asked what the opposition’s next move will be, David Agius said that first and foremost the PN will be looking to make people more aware on the issue, making sure that justice is served with those that are paying irregular bills. 

The PN spokesperson said that in the same way that tax adjustments are paid at the end of the year, the ARMS bills are settled in the same manner, paving the way for less irregularities. 

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