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Govt leaves Kiwi consumers to pick up the bill

Energy spokesperson
30 January 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Govt leaves Kiwi consumers to pick up the bill

Kiwi consumers will pay the price for National’s ill-conceived plan to sell off our power companies, says Labour Energy spokesperson Moana Mackey.

“The latest forecast from the Ministry of Economic Development predicts wholesale electricity will keep rising beyond the inflation rate for the next 18 years.

“The report reiterates what Labour has been saying for months--- Kiwi households will end up paying more for their electricity if our energy companies are partially privatised.

“Protecting the interests of private shareholders to ensure maximisation of profit will come first, with the interests of New Zealanders a poor second,” Moana Mackey said.

“The situation has been exacerbated by National’s changes to electricity industry legislation. Those changes included preparing Kiwi-owned energy companies for sale and removing consumer protections.

“Promises that privatisation will deliver lower prices and more efficient services have not been borne out. The Minister is well aware that data on domestic electricity prices shows that in recent years the biggest cost increases have come from the investor-owned, not state-owned, energy companies.

“On radio this morning the Minister put the onus back on to consumers, saying that it was the responsibility of individual households to manage their power use. This simply shows how out of touch he is with the pressures which arise from shrinking family budgets.

“Sending profits offshore, and relinquishing responsibility, is not the way forward,” Moana Mackey said.


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