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Time for some answers from National on power

Grant ROBERTSON

Deputy Leader
 
28 April 2013                                                            

MEDIA STATEMENT

Time for some answers from National on power
 
National needs to stop its political huffing and puffing, and debate the real issues like how to bring down power prices and the lack of a competitive electricity market, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Grant Robertson.
 
"Steven Joyce and the rest of the National Party have spent more than a week throwing out hysterical political insults in response to the release of the New Zealand Power policy.  But they have failed to debate the core issues- are New Zealanders being over-charged for their power, and if so what is National going to do about it?
 
"It’s fascinating that Mr Joyce devoted most of his speech at a National Party conference to political slogans and attacks.  He is clearly spooked by a policy that will see consumers and small businesses finally get a fair deal.
 
"I challenge Steven Joyce to actually debate the facts, and answer some questions about the electricity system.  Here are some starters.
 
“Why have prices continued to rise after the Wolak Report identified that the big four power companies had taken $4.3 billion of super profits from consumers? 
 
“Why is he prepared to accept a continuation of residential power prices going up at twice the rate of inflation and having the second highest gap between residential and industrial prices in the OECD?
 
“Why, in a country that produces so much of its electricity through low cost sources such as hydro, do New Zealanders get less and less benefit from that?
 
“Why is he prepared to continue to accept an unfair pricing system that sees power companies taking the benefit of free water and putting it onto their balance sheet, while consumers pay more and more?
 
“Fundamentally, National knows that New Zealanders are being over-charged for their electricity. That's why it insists on playing the man rather than the ball.
 
“While, National is prepared to continue with the failed policies inherited from Max Bradford, Labour has a model that will see prices come down, and establish a competitive retail market where it will be possible to make a fair rate of return, but not the super profits of the past," Grant Robertson said.
 
ENDS

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