Argentina’s energy minister Juan José Aranguren announced the new increases in gas prices this Friday, with tariff hikes to be capped at 300-400% for households and 500% for businesses.
“Nobody will pay more than a 500% rise,” said Aranguren as he presented Resolution 212-E/2016, which outlines the changes in the gas tariffs and was published in the Official Gazette today.
The maximum hike will be limited according to the user’s residential category, of which there are four bands: segment R1-R23 will rise by up to 300%, segment R31-R33 by 350%, users R34 by 400%, and 500% for the commercial and industrial sectors (category SGP). The caps will only apply to monthly bills that exceed $250.
Prices will increase every six months through to 2019, when the government aims to have completely eliminated utility tariffs.
Aranguren underlined that the government would only subsidise utilities for the people who need it via a “social tariff”.
“Everyone who earns a wage below $15,120 will have access to the social tariff” said Aranguren and explained that this benefit will also be offered retirees, veterans of war, and the disabled.
The energy minister said that this would reach about 17 million homes.
The new tariff plan comes after a number of public hearings were held last month in line with a Supreme Court ruling that anulled the government’s previous gas subsidy cuts, which led to increases in household bills of over 1,000% and sparked mass protests.
The government is set to hold more public hearings later in October over planned hikes to electricity tariffs.