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Beenie Man Blast OUR & JPS Over Rate Increase: “Where is the compassion for the people?”

Beenie Man

Beenie Man sounds off against the recent JPS rate increase with Jamaicans already paying higher light bills.

The dancehall legend tweeted his displeasure over the recent rate increase granted to JPS by the Office of Utilities Regulation—OUR amid widespread outcry among Jamaicans buckling under the weight of the pandemic. Beenie Man‘s sentiments are shared by many Jamaicans who are already paying more for energy because of increases in the cost of fuel and foreign exchange rates. Since the start of the pandemic, persons have been paying close to double what they used to pay before without using more energy, even without an increase in the cost for energy rate.

The “Girls Dem Sugar” deejay questioned the prudence of the decision to grant an increase at this time, with increased COVID restrictions, which included no movement days that shortened the work schedules for the last four weeks.

“Now why would OUR approve an increase in electricity bill in the middle of the pandemic, covid restrictions, and no movement,” he stated.

Beenie Man went on to express how this move was insensitive and thoughtless, querying, “Where is the compassion for the people? #Jamaica.”

In another tweet the dancehall legend added, “We the people have been suffering for two years during this pandemic. We have had to find means to pay our bills while they kept coming. People lost jobs, and the street hustle is no longer there, remittances aren’t coming in because the families aboard are also affected!”

Some fans of Beenie Man in Jamaica started sharing a meme about “Why OUR and JPS want to be that guy.” This is a recall of a meme that was birthed from Beenie Man and Bounty Killer’s appearance on the popular Verzuz live battle that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created. The “that guy” statement was following an attempt to lock down the live event, which was in breach of COVID curfew restrictions at the time.

Fans of the deejay shared in his angered response to JPS, noting that this is an increase that Jamaicans cannot afford, as they are already plagued with increases in the cost of food, fuel, and other daily necessities. One fan commented, “A nu lie … man a talk facts….raise fair den raise light bill what next,” while another added, “People unu tief light yer. Dont mek ntn stop unu !”

The rate took effect September 1st and will reflect on JPS customers’ October bills, JPS was granted a 1.4% increase as opposed to the 3.5% they were requesting. Customers that fall within the Rate 10 category will now pay $13.85/kWh for the first 117kWh compared to the previous $7.24/kWh for the first 100kWh, and $21.03/kWh for everything above that compared to the old rate of $20.79/kWh. For business customers (Rate 20) their rate is $122.45/kWh for the first 10kWh and $9.03/kWh for each kWh after.