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Hodgson Plays Loose With the Facts Again

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce
Media release

August 5, 1999

Hodgson Plays Loose With the Facts Again

Pete Hodgson's willingness to try and mislead Dunedin power consumers is staggering, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said today.

No amount of slippery language can hide the fact that when Labour decided to withdraw support for the electricity lines company control legislation, no guarantee of a lines company price freeze had been given in Dunedin.

"Mr Hodgson and Dr Cullen were not only prepared to see consumers continuing to being overcharged, but they were also prepared to allow prices to be ramped up further in Dunedin," Mr Bradford said.

"Mr Hodgson said yesterday Dunedin Electricity had belatedly announced it would "freeze" its prices. But the company confirmed today it will be forced to put up its charges later this year if Transpower increases its charges.

"The legislation that Labour has failed to support would have empowered the Commerce Commission to investigate whether Transpower charges are justified and to cap them if necessary.

"Labour has tried to justify its appalling decision to allow monopoly lines companies to continue overcharging by saying it had been given assurances that most lines companies would freeze charges until at least July 2000.

"As the Consumers' Institute and other organisations have said, this will only allow these companies to lock in excessive charges," Mr Bradford said.

ENDS




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