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A little more straight talk about energy costs


A little more straight talk about energy costs would have been helpful,” says Grey Power

The Green Party’s short, direct response to Grey Power’s all-Party question about regulating the price of electricity brought murmurs of approval. Not only because Green Party policy was closely aligned with Grey Power energy policy, but because it was spelled it out in specific unequivocal terms.

The question to all parties was: “Would you regulate to control prices for domestic consumers?” The answer from the Greens was: “We would regulate fixed charges.”

The Green Party went on to say they would also investigate ways to introduce progressive pricing, where everyone is entitled to a basic amount of electricity at a lower price and there would be increased investment in energy efficiency.

“To be honest, other parties may have suggested the same thing, but their wording was ambivalent if not waffling, and really didn’t guarantee much of anything,” says national president of Grey Power Graham Stairmand.

“I wonder if Party spokespeople realize how turned-off the average voter gets with statements that don’t answer the question; or answers that seem to change from day to day, Mr Stairmand says.

“Media hype may account for some of the problem,” he says, “especially the polls which appear to differ from place to place and day to day. In reality, policy has to be the only criteria, and some onus should be put on the media to refrain from printing meaningless statements if only to fill copy space,” says Graham Stairmand.

The cost and regulation of energy is now first on the list of the five major concerns by Grey Power members followed by the rate of superannuation, hospital waiting lists, law and order, and local government rate increases. These issues have been put before all the parties.

New Zealand Grey Power has more than 90,000 active members, and is recognised as a leading support organization for many of the more than three quarters of a million retired New Zealanders. Grey Power maintains strict neutrality during the election campaign, but will respond with support and information that affects its members.

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