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Growing calls for help with winter power costs

12 August 2008 Media Statement

Progressives welcome growing calls for help with winter power costs

A call from NZ First to subsidise winter power bills is being welcomed by Jim Anderton's Progressives.

Progressive Party president Matt Robson says the policy is a sign of growing movement to reduce the pressure on family budgets caused by rising winter power bills and the current state of the global economy.

The Progressives have said they will make a priority of a push for a $200 winter power subsidy. Jim Anderton has said he would put as much priority behind the policy as similar Progressive achievements such as Kiwibank and four weeks annual leave.

Matt Robson is welcoming NZ First's support for help with winter power bills, because the more parties supporting the policy, the better the chance of passing it.

"A high winter power bill can play havoc with family budgets when times are tight. A rebate would be refund from government from the proceeds of public ownership of power companies.

"$200 is an average monthly power bill for many of the homes in question, so the effect for many homes would be a month's free power.

"At the same time, power companies are making strong profits.

"Paying out a return on public ownership as a direct rebate to those most in need of assistance is a highly progressive way of helping families. $200 means a lot more to someone whose income is low and fixed. It ensures the cash goes to a necessity," Matt Robson said.


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