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Government spikes business again

David Carter National Finance Spokesperson

5 March 2002

Government spikes business again

"Business is yet again feeling the effects of a Government that is failing to deliver on its over-hyped rhetoric," says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

Mr Carter says price gouging by State-owned electricity company Meridian is threatening the viability of many innovative companies and putting jobs in jeopardy.

"How ironic that in the same week the Government is holding its taxpayer-funded talkfest - 'Innovate' - one of its keynote speakers is publicly taking it to task over the lack of competition in the electricity market and the spike in prices.

"Sir Angus Tait - who is addressing the forum - of Tait Radio Communications, along with a number of other Christchurch-based high-tech companies, have taken out advertisements in the local paper saying that Meridian's decision to no longer offer reasonable, fixed price contracts will mean six-figure price increases and cost jobs.

"Jim Anderton could do a lot more for innovative businesses in this country by doing something about allowing competition in an electricity market dominated by Government-owned companies, rather than holding feel-good talkfests."

Mr Carter says it is clear that the electricity market in Christchurch is dysfunctional with the Government as the major benefactor from power price increases.

"This is just another cost increase Government has gouged out of business - such as ACC increases, petrol tax hike, changes to OSH and Holiday laws - since it came into office.

"The Government talks big about encouraging business and encouraging innovation, but its actions speaker louder than its hollow rhetoric," Mr Carter concluded.


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