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Panic paves the way to power price hikes

Panic paves the way to power price hikes

"The Labour Government will be remembered for its mishandling of the electricity crisis, and householders will be reminded every time they get a power bill," says National Party leader Bill English.

"As expected there'll be a significant cost to the consumer of this stand-by electricity and we'll all be paying for Labour's political panic attack with bigger power bills.

"It'll be a new Clark and Hodgson energy tax, offered up by a Government that's running on empty," says Mr English.

"The Government that gave us the sherry tax before the Budget and the energy tax after it - with nothing in the middle.

"This band-aid initiative for the electricity industry comes too late and doesn't solve any of our immediate problems," says Mr English.

"More than that, it's further evidence of Labour's cynicism.

"This is the Government that prematurely signed up to the Kyoto Protocol against advice, creating huge uncertainty about the cost of future generation.

"Pete Hodgson's 'much improved scenario development and modelling' appears to have failed yet again," says Mr English.

"And it's yet another example of how Labour's ideology is getting in the way of simple common sense.

"The same ideology that is allowing huge coal reserves to go untapped, while generators struggle to find enough fuel for the likes of Huntly," Mr English says.

"The same ideology that places a greater value on low value scrub near Greymouth, than on a 60 mega watt power station that would help secure economic growth at the top of the South Island.

"An ideology that's only seen a handful of energy projects come on line since 1999.

"Labour's energy policy has become the ball and chain around the ankle of economic development, a plan that's sentenced New Zealanders to a winter of discontent.

"We'll all be paying the price for Labour's mismanagement in years to come," Mr English says.

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