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Government still dithering on electricity

Tony Ryall National Commerce Spokesman

Pansy Wong National Energy Spokesperson

27 July 2001

Government still dithering on electricity

The Government's campaign to reduce electricity consumption by 10 percent over 10 weeks does nothing to help small businesses under severe pressure because of profiteering by State Owned electricity generators, National MPs Tony Ryall and Pansy Wong said tonight.

"While energy conservation is to be applauded, Mr Hodgson's calls today would look a lot more credible if he hadn't made severe cuts to the budget of the energy conservation programme," National's spokespeople said.

"These are extraordinary circumstances, and that calls for extraordinary leadership. If the industry pitches in, and the Government's companies stop ripping their customers off, then New Zealand can get through this.

"Real companies in real markets don't kill their customers. Only a Government which runs its SOEs out of a textbook would be behaving this badly.

"The Government should instruct its SOEs, which dominate the market, to stop profiteering from the crisis. The SOEs are earning millions of dollars extra each day the crisis goes on," Tony Ryall and Pansy Wong said.

Ends

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