Staff Reporter

PALMA
MANY families are going to be tightening their belts this year after increases in the costs of electricity, public transport, telephone lines and gas were brought in this week.

Much of the country ended last year complaining about the sharp rise in the cost of living, in particular the cost of basic resources and this year is going to prove even more expensive. In the majority of the cases the price rise is lower than inflation. Electricity bills, which are paid by more than 20 million consumers, have increased by 3.3 percent both for domestic and industrial clients.The price of renting the meters has increased by the same amount. In addition to this the price of natural gas for households and small businesses has shot up by an average of 4.7 percent.The price of a bottle of Butane gas has also gone up, its price going from 12.29 euros to 12.94 euros, which is an increase of 5.2 percent. Telefonica has increased its line rental charge by two percent to 13.97 euros, while its charges for national calls are increasing by between 2 and 2.7 percent. Public transport fares do not go up until April, but come the Spring, a 4.1 percent price hike will be introduced.

One of the highest tariff rises that people on Majorca are going to notice is that of waste collection tax (collected by local town halls) which will increase by 26 percent. Train and coach costs will undergo change during the first fortnight of January. Regular customers will have savings on the longer journeys.

In Palma, public service charges will go up by an average of 3 percent, and as of 1st January, the Municipal Sports Institute has put up its charges in line with the cost of living index. Water and city bus travel charges remain unchanged, with under fourteens riding free. Airport taxes are up 3 percent, under pressure from fuel charges which rose by 14 percent in 2007. Dearer cereal production costs also pushed up basic food costs.

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