'I'm Not Paying': Jordanians start online campaign after energy price hike

'I'm Not Paying': Jordanians start online campaign after energy price hike
3 min read
17 January, 2022
Jordanians, frustrated with worsening socioeconomic conditions, have started an online campaign to call on people to refrain from paying energy bills after new tariffs were introduced
Jordanians say they are being burdened from rising prices, especially in energy [Getty- archive]

Jordanians have launched an online campaign under the slogan "I'm Not Paying" to protest new electricity tariffs, which are expected to come into force at the start of April.

The campaign is calling on the population to refuse to pay their energy bills in January as the first step in their protest against higher energy prices in Jordan.

"The people are not forced to pay for your fancy dinners and cars and wives' gifts, we've had enough," one Twitter user wrote.

The Jordanian government announced the new tariffs last week, which it said will be aimed at supporting productive sectors in the kingdom.

Non-Jordanians will be exempt from the price hike.

Jordanians have been left furious by the decision, with many complaining of financial hardship, in a country where the unemployment rate stands at just above 20 percent.

Activist Alaa Malkawi told Arabi21 that the campaign aims to stop "tyranny" and the exploitation of Jordanian citizens, and put pressure on the government to revise its decision.

Malkawi expects wide support from Jordanians for the campaign "because of their suffering due to an astronomical increase in prices… especially electricity prices which are affecting the poor and the middle class".

In addition to getting Jordanians to refrain from paying electricity bills, he said the campaign will gradually include water bills, fuel, university fees, and possibly property tax.

Based on the new tariffs, a fixed subsidy of 2.50 Jordanian dinars (around $3.50) will be provided on the monthly bill for subscribers whose energy consumption ranges between only 51 and 200 kilowatts per month, and 2 Jordanian dinars for those whose consumption ranges between 201 and 600 kilowatts per month.

Those who consume more than 600 kilowatts of energy per month however will be paying an extra 10 dinars (around $14) on their monthly bill.

Economic experts have warned the new tariffs will affect middle-income families most, reduce costs for the upper class, and have no benefits for lower-income families.

The Jordanian government claims that over 90 percent of citizens will not be affected by the increased tariffs.

Malkawi called on all Jordanians to participate in the campaign.

"This campaign is for your sake," he said.