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Another Electric Shock For Bradford - ACT

ACT's principled stand against allowing politicians to meddle in the electricity sector has today been vindicated by another back-flip by Energy Minister Max Bradford and Labour's refusal to support the legislation to impose price controls on lines companies.

"ACT has taken the correct lead on this issue and even Labour are now backing away from Mr Bradford's heavy handed price controls.

"ACT supported the submissioners in the Select Commissioner who pointed out that that there was no research or analysis behind the legislation to support it. There was no proof that the price controls would benefit consumers in the long run.

"ACT's position on this issue has been right from the start when we gave the Minister the same advice as his officials that price controls were not the answer.

"Having held a press conference yesterday to state that he did not support the Commerce Select Committee's call for price controls to be extended to retail companies, the Minister has today emerged from Caucus saying he does support it.

"The Minister yesterday raised questions about my understanding of this issue, clearly it was the Minister himself who was confused about the position of his Party on this issue.

"Once he embarked on price controls against the advice of ACT and his own officials the Minister was on the slippery slope to controlling more and more of the electricity sector. That has today been proved correct.

"National's lack of principle on this issue has seen the electricity reforms lurch from bad to worse.

"The Minister should be concentrating on completing the privatisation the remaining state owned assets and corporatising lines companies rather than meddling with price controls," said Owen Jennings.


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