The Egyptian government needs to start protecting the poor from rising electricity prices.
According to Salah El-Haggar, Chairperson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the American University in Cairo, a government programme needs to be put in place to ensure electricity and oil subsidy cuts don’t raise prices for the poorest part of society.
There is a planned two-step increase in service prices over a two-year period as funding is withdrawn but no support for those in poverty is currently planned.
Mr El-Haggar suggested low income individuals should not pay more for electricity, middle classes should have to pay a reasonable price increase and rich people whose lives would not change from a price increase should bear the brunt.
Reham El-Desoqy, Economist at the Prime Bank for Investment, added recent increases did not exempt people who cannot afford it.
“There are no options available for the poor, it’s already done,” she said.
She suggested the next increase in the coming year should not hit those whose lives would be greatly affected.