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Govt creams profits from energy crisis

Govt creams profits from energy crisis

National Party Energy spokesman Roger Sowry says the Labour Government appears to have been one of the big winners out of this year's power crisis.

"While businesses were being forced to close because of high spot prices, the Government was collecting the profits."

He's commenting after news that the Government has creamed nearly $270 million in dividends from state-owned power companies in the year to June.

"The Government not only got a huge cash injection, but at the same time it introduced an energy tax to pay for generation capacity that may never be used," Mr Sowry says.

To make matters worse, Meridian Energy is warning that electricity shortages could return.

Meridian's chairman, Dr Francis Small says 'population and economic growth is driving up the demand for electricity and if it continues, it will be beyond the means of the country's current dry-year generation capacity within a few years.'

"If that's not a sign to the Government that its knee-jerk solution to the energy crisis isn't working then nothing is!

"The Government should not expect to continue collecting growing dividends while its management of the industry is so poor," Mr Sowry says.

"People should be justifiably outraged that they've been forced to save power while the Government rakes in bigger dividends.

"Householders were angry at the latest price rises, that anger will grow when they see the Government doing very well out of putting the price up," says Mr Sowry.

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