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More Kiwis Having Power Supply Cut Off

David SHEARER
Labour Leader

23 May 2013   

MEDIA STATEMENT

More Kiwis Having Power Supply Cut Off

New figures obtained by Labour show that more Kiwis are having their power supply cut off because they can’t afford to pay their electricity bills, says Labour Leader David Shearer. 

“I’m hearing so many stories from people who feel sick in the stomach when they get their power bill. They’re worried about turning their heater or electric blanket on and feel like they’re failing as parents because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly.

“Now we have figures backing up their concerns about the relentless rise in electricity prices.  

“In response to a written question, we’ve confirmed that the number of people having their power supply cut off because they can’t pay their bill grew by more than 3000 over the course of last year.  In the first quarter of 2012, there were 8287 disconnections. By quarter four, there were 11,423.

“The total disconnections in 2012 were 40,885 according to the Energy Minister Simon Bridges. That’s 10,000 more disconnections than in 2011.”

This follows a Canstar Blue survey showing that 36% of the more than 2000 people they surveyed could not afford to heat their homes adequately this winter. It found that almost three-quarters of respondents had changed their behaviour to limit their electricity use.

“John Key says people aren’t paying too much for their power. But he’s out of touch. Power prices rose five times faster than inflation last year and that’s just not fair.

“It’s why Labour will act to bring New Zealanders’ power bills down. NZ Power will reduce the average annual bill for households by between $230 and $330. It will also cut prices for businesses by between 5 to 7 per cent.

“This will make a real difference to the lives of people who are working their guts out trying to keep on top of the rising cost of living. Our plan will also boost our economy and create jobs. What’s National’s plan?,” said David Shearer.

ENDS

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