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Government price gouging its own

Bill English National Finance Spokesman

24 August 2001

Government price gouging its own

Hospitals are likely to face price gouging from Government-owned energy companies, says National's Finance spokesman Bill English.

"Hospitals have banded together to try to renegotiate a new electricity supply contract, yet the SOEs have refused to offer secure supply contracts.

"If no SOE offers a contract, the hospitals will have to buy on the spot market with big, and unpredictable increases, which will lead to more cuts to health.

"On the other hand, the SOEs appear reluctant to offer the same prices they're offering other businesses - 30-50% increases for 2-3 year contracts.

"Either way, the Government will make substantial profits, while hospitals will make even bigger losses. So far, the Government has refused to reveal who is making profits from the electricity crisis, and what it will do with those profits.

"The Ministers have to front up because it is clear the profits are growing at the expense of sick people.

"This Government promised to be hands-on and put people before profit. It needs to explain how it'll keep that promise when the SOEs are price gouging hospitals," Mr English said.

Ends


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