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Joyce scaremongering on power prices

Grant Robertson
Deputy Leader

24 April 2013

Joyce scaremongering on power prices

Steven Joyce needs to stop scaremongering if he wants to be taken seriously on power prices, says Grant Robertson, Labour’s Deputy Leader.

“On TV3’s Firstline this morning, Steven Joyce was warning of economic doom and capital flight because of Labour’s plan to reduce the average power bill for households by up to $330 a year. Unfortunately for Mr Joyce, as at midday today the NZX had actually gone up by about 1.5 per cent since Labour announced its NZ Power policy.

“What is National’s problem with the idea of lower power bills for Kiwis?

“If Steven Joyce and John Key want to stand up for power companies that cream super profits and pay their CEOs million dollar salaries while prices rise ever higher, good luck to them.

“Labour won’t stand by while power generators lock in excessive prices on the back of ever higher valuations of old hydro stations, using the public’s free water resource.

“Residential users are now paying three times as much as industrial users. Previous reports by independent experts have found billions of dollars overcharging. Overcharging New Zealanders for power yesterday is not a justification for overcharging them today, tomorrow or next year.

“The electricity market is not working for New Zealanders.

“High power prices are hurting Kiwi families, businesses and the economy. Reducing the cost of power will have huge economic benefits, increase our competitiveness and give companies the confidence to invest.

“Labour makes no apology for stepping in to fix problems in the electricity sector. But this is not a signal that Labour is going to intervene elsewhere in the economy. As we said on the day we launched NZ Power, we have no plans to intervene in any other markets.

“National’s hysteria on this issue is nothing more than an attempt to scare New Zealanders and hide the fact that the Government has no idea how to bring down power bills,” says Grant Robertson.

ENDS

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