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Ivorians bemoan high living costs and utility bills

Ivorians bemoan high living costs and utility bills

Ivory Coast

High cost of living and the recent surge in the cost of public services have sparked growing discontent amongst Ivorians.

A part of the population is accusing president Ouattara for not having done enough to protect the consumers from the situation.

The IMF however predicted the country’s economy would grow 8.5% this year, down slightly from 8.6 percent in 2015. While inflation is expected to remain low, the price of basic commodities is said to be on a steady rise.

We cannot fight against the high cost of living by taxing people that can only produce a negative effect. Taxes need to be reviewed and lowered, we pay too much tax.

The president of the consumer association is calling for taxes to be lowered.

“We cannot fight against the high cost of living by taxing people that can only produce a negative effect, so the government has its role to play. Taxes need to be reviewed and lowered, we pay too much tax,” said Jean Baptiste Koffi, leader of Ivory Coast Consumers Union.

In a speech on May 1 this year, Ouattara publicly acknowledged the rising cost of living and promised solutions.

“I have always been concerned with the living conditions of all my fellow citizens, whatever political position they may hold. That has always been my main agenda. Increasing consumers buying power and the fight against the high cost of living are constant worries for many. I have heard your complaints in the face of rising food prices and the rise in utility bills,” he said.

Ivory Coast is aiming to invest a total of around 30 trillion CFA francs (50.5 billion dollars) from 2016 to 2020 as part of efforts to foster economic development and reduce poverty.