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6% rise in power bills will bring elderly deaths

*Media Statement*
*For immediate release*
*Monday, 11 April 2005*

*Alexander: 6% rise in power bills will bring elderly deaths*

A six percent rise in household power bills from the Government’s Kyoto Protocol-inspired carbon tax policy may help save natural resources, but it will kill some of our elderly, United Future senior citizens spokesman Marc Alexander said today.

“And that appears to be a trade-off the Government is quite prepared to make,” he said in response to this morning’s Government announcement that its policy would lift the cost of electricity by one cent a unit.

“The Government knows that superannuitants and others on low or fixed incomes are going to have to cut their heating because they can’t afford it - and that can be fatal in a cold winter,” he said.

“One can only hope they feel the trees they save are worth it, because they have clearly decided that older and more vulnerable members of our community are not.

“When are they going to get that the elderly cannot roll with every financial punch this Government sends their way, and heating and power is a basic requirement?” Mr Alexander said.


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