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Bradford Has No-one But Himself To Blame

Bradford Has No-one But Himself To Blame for Bungled Reforms

Tuesday 3rd Aug 1999

Ken Shirley

Media Release -- Economy

ACT Deputy Leader Hon Ken Shirley today said that the latest debacle in the Government's electricity reforms had at least put an end to Max Bradford's ill-considered plan to impose price controls on electricity lines companies.

"With Bradford's draconian price controls consigned to the scrap heap it is up to the electricity sector to get on and complete the reform process to deliver the best deal for power consumers.

"By imposing the price controls Max Bradford would have compounded the problems he locked into the electricity sector when he forced the split of lines and energy companies.

"There was no evidence to support Mr Bradford's contention that controlling prices on the lines companies would give New Zealanders cheaper power. The move was simply a knee-jerk reaction to paper over the cracks in the Government's reforms.

"Had Mr Bradford taken the advice of his officials and ACT New Zealand when he first proposed the idea he could have saved himself and the National Party the embarrassment of relying on Winston Peters and his populist rabble to bail them out.

"Winston Peters continues his record as a populist show pony. ACT New Zealand warned the National Government over a month ago and predicted that they would be left in the lurch with their bungled electricity reforms were they to rely on Winston Peters. Winston used this important issue just to get a few headlines and then pulled the plug at the last minute as he did earlier this year with the Government's TOLIS legislation.

"ACT will continue to put principle before politics as we have done on this issue. New Zealanders are already paying dearly for politicians meddling with their electricity. We believe it is totally wrong that politicians like Winston Peters are playing election year games at their expense.

"Max Bradford cannot blame ACT for his poor handling of this issue. He has only himself to blame. New Zealanders and the electricity companies who bought into Mr Bradford's reforms in good faith deserve better," said Ken Shirley.


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