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Power disconnections stay at record highs

Power disconnections stay at record highs

The number of people having their power cut off remains at record highs with 8,967 people disconnected for not paying their power bills on time, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer.

“The disconnection rates are still around what they were, when Folole Muliaga died in 2007 after her oxygen machine stopped when her power was cut.

“Too many Kiwi families are simply not able to pay their power bills, which have increased more than four times the rate of inflation under National.

“With winter coming and temperatures dropping families will be stretched. Many are cutting back on essential heating that leaves their houses cold and children vulnerable to rheumatic fever and respiratory illnesses.

“Energy Minister Simon Bridges is out of touch with what is happening around the country. When I questioned him in Parliament, he stated prices would increase by 2.4%,” says David Shearer.

“Last month we saw many areas, including Wellington, Christchurch, Waikato and Taranaki face sharp power increases of more than five percent in just one month.

“The Muliaga tragedy prompted a greater scrutiny that resulted in the number of disconnections plummeting. But the National Government has allowed it to climb to record levels once again.

“Power companies now take more care when they know about life saving equipment needing power but many families face real risks from not being able to meet their power bills.

“The figure does not include those on pre-pay schemes who are frequently disconnected but top up so that disconnection is not reported.”

Ends

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