Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Power companies unfairly targeting the poorest

Power companies unfairly targeting the poorest


Power companies are unfairly targeting the poorest New Zealanders by charging them the highest electricity rates, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says.

New figures obtained by Labour show those on pre-pay electricity plans – paying electricity bills in advance – pay up to 60 per cent more than those paying a regular power bill.

“That’s just wrong. Power companies are squeezing the poorest to maximise their profits. It’s a disgrace that they are hurting Kiwis who can least afford it.

Families in Northland, for example, pay 42 per cent more if they are on prepay, while those in Dunedin pay 58.7 per cent more and in Invercargill 60.8 per cent more. That means in the worst cases some customers on the cheapest pre-pay plan are paying more than $1500 a year more than those on the cheapest standard plan.

“Nearly all of those families are obliged to go on pre-pay schemes by the power companies because they face difficulties making ends meet and have fallen behind with payments in the past. They’re essentially forced to feed the meter to stay connected.

“Given they are paying up front – and are no risk of defaulting to the company – you’d expect pre-pay users to get a reasonable deal. Instead our power companies are charging them massively more than other customers because they have nowhere else to go. They also don’t get access to special deals or discounts.

“It’s heartless and unnecessary. This Government knows it has been going on but has done nothing to bring the industry into line.

“The NZ Consumer Institute published figures in 2012 showing excessive charges. Since then, it’s got worse, not better. Demand for greater profits as a result of the Government’s privatisation of our power companies is likely to drive prices up further for those who have no voice and no choice.

“Other countries regulate prices for those on pre-pay to an equivalent of those on regular retail schemes. That’s something that could be applied here to stop power companies actively targeting the most poor and vulnerable,” David Shearer says.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news