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Govt Must Not Pocket Electricity Crisis Windfall

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley is calling on the Minister of Energy, Pete Hodgson, to give a commitment that once hydro lake levels improve he will reduce the rate of return required from State Owned electricity generators.

"Reducing the required rate of return from SOE electricity generators would ensure that families and businesses do not suffer as a result of the high electricity prices at the present time," Jenny Shipley said.

"It would mean the overall cost of electricity for New Zealand households and New Zealand businesses remained within the range they could have reasonably expected over a 12 month period.

"It would be disgraceful if the Government took a huge financial windfall gain because of high electricity prices and used that money for other purposes like Maori TV, the ballet or the People's Bank. Doing that would effectively turn the current high electricity prices into a 'tax grab', with the proceeds being used for unrelated Government policies.

"This is a significant test for the Labour Party as to whether their commitment to business and growth is just rhetoric or whether they really understand the problems businesses are facing in New Zealand today.

"National calls on both the Prime Minister and Pete Hodgson to demonstrate their understanding of the issue by taking decisive action when the Government meets with the electricity sector in Wellington later today," Jenny Shipley said.

Ends


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