Trade unionists concerned about impact of energy crisis on population

The energy crisis should not affect the living conditions of the population and should be addressed also from the angle of its social impact, said representatives of the National Trade Union Confederation of Moldova, who submitted a statement to the Government, whereby they express their concern about the recent developments on the national energy market, IPN reports.

“The uncertainty about gas supplies in a full volume and the risk of the tariffs of energy resources being increased during the heating season, when the demand for natural gas is higher, will negatively affect residential and nonresidential users, given the current socioeconomic situation, especially during the pandemic that impacted many sectors of the economy and also the pays of salary earners who are members of trade unionists,” runs the statement.

The Confederation noted the purchasing power of the population has declined the past year, simultaneously with the rise in the prices of fuels, coal and firewood. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in August 2020 - August 2021, fuel prices rose by 18% and generated a chain rise in the prices of all the goods. But the real salary index in 2020 was of only 105.8% on 2019. So, if the tariffs of energy resources in the autumn and winter of 2021-2022 increase, a large part of the population with modest incomes will be unable to pay the bills on time.

To ensure the social protection of the population, the Confederation suggests the authorities should intervene promptly to ensure the necessary gas supplies or alternative energy resources for the cold period by providing compensations if the tariffs grow and by designing payment rescheduling mechanisms without imposing penalties on the population and businesses.

If the natural gas tariffs are raised, the Tax Code should be amended so as to exempt from VAT the natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas that are imported and those that are supplied on Moldova’s territory and on natural gas transportation and distribution services, which would reduce by 8% the impact of the rise in tariffs.

The Confederation said the transition to renewable sources of energy - Aeolian and solar - should be more intensely promoted so as to reduce dependence on the import of energy resources. At the initial stage, it is important to attract projects to finance the energy efficiency of public institutions, including for placing solar panels on the roofs and facades of buildings. If the upward trends in prices on the international energy products market persist, the investments in equipment for producing renewable energy will be recouped during a much shorter period of time.

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