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Commerce Commission threat cheats households of $12/month

Clare Curran
Communications and IT Spokesperson

11 December 2012

Key’s Commerce Commission threat cheats households out of $12 a month

John Key is determined to ensure New Zealand households’ bills are $12 higher a month with his threat to overturn the Commerce Commission if he doesn’t like its broadband rulings, says Labour’s Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The Commerce Commission’s draft ruling on broadband did not meet with the approval of John Key and Amy Adams. That’s because it proposed swinging cuts to Chorus charges that it’s estimated would reduce the average household’s bill by $12 a month.

“With so many families struggling under National’s failing economy any monthly saving provides real help. But National won’t even give them that.

“John Key today refused to rule out legislation to overturn the Commerce Commission if its final report recommends those cuts. He is treating the independent regulator and New Zealand families with disdain. And he’s put the interests of Chorus, the privately owned, Crown-backed ultrafast broadband network company above the interests of New Zealand consumers.

“John Key’s statements have created widespread horror and uncertainty for the Telco industry which is seeking stability of pricing and competitive environment which will ultimately lead to greater innovation, more services and cheaper prices for consumers.

“His intervention has been described as ‘unprecedented’ by the former Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson and prompted Standard & Poor’s to say that the final decision of the Commissioner will be ‘subject to significant political deliberation’.

“John Key and his ministers have a long record of dubious political interference but heavying an independent regulator into not making findings that help Kiwi families surely takes the cake. He opens himself up to legal action from other telcos.

“John Key should back off and let the Commerce Commission make a fair ruling.”

ENDS

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