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Labour Conned by Monopoly Lines Companies

Labour has been conned by monopoly lines companies in agreeing to oppose lines control legislation, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford says.

"The so-called price freeze that Labour has signed up to will allow lines companies to lock in excessive charges.

"The monopoly lines companies tried this on the Government in May but we rejected it then.

"The Labour-monopoly deal will mean prices will be frozen at an inflated level.

"Labour has been conned.

"Now Labour is trying to con the public that it has done the right thing," Mr Bradford said.

"The Commerce Commission would have been given the power to look at whether lines company charges and fees are justified.

"I fully expect that in some cases excessive charges would have been rolled back, delivering cheaper power to consumers," Mr Bradford said.

"Helen Clark and Jim Anderton have to explain to New Zealanders why they are colluding with monopoly companies and blocking lower power prices. ACT has also thrown its lot in with monopolies.

"As the Consumers' Institute says, they have sold consumers down the river," Mr Bradford said.

"For Labour to receive accolades from the monopoly companies organisation, The Electricity Networks Association, is like being congratulated by the fox after it has eaten all the chickens.

"Labour has ignored the evidence from some retail power companies that they have been forced to increase power prices because of lines company charges."

"Labour has backed the monopolies, while the Government is backing consumers and lower power prices," Mr Bradford said.

ENDS

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