Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Can the Govt Guarantee Domestic Power Prices?

Can the Government Guarantee Domestic Power Prices if the Power Companies Are Sold?

Alliance Party media release


Tuesday 7 August 2012

The government says domestic power prices will not rise steeply if shares are sold in the three publicly owned power companies, but can they guarantee it? And what if they are wrong? This has the Alliance Party worried, according to co leader Kay Murray.

Electricity is an essential product. Everybody depends on it. Domestic electricity prices have been rising faster than the rate of inflation since 1991 when the government first applied its free-market policies to the sector, with only around 40% of the sector being privately owned. Both history and logic point to even greater price rises when more of the sector is sold off.

The Labour and the Green parties maintain that once these assets are sold the country will not be able to afford to buy them back. So what will the government do if people cannot afford to pay their electricity bills? Let them freeze because they can't heat their homes? Already the health system treats many people, especially children and the elderly, with illnesses caused by living in cold damp homes. Or will they use taxpayers' money to subsidize the profits of the electricity company shareholders by assisting people on very low incomes to pay their power bills, leaving the rest of us to grin and bear it?

Our electricity industry was built up by the state and has been owned by the state for close to100 years because previous generations understood that access to electricity is vital for everyone. The very least our government can do is explain how they intend to keep domestic electricity prices affordable after they have privatised most of our power companies. We cannot rely on market forces; market forces have arguably got us into the mess we are in.

What is plan B, Mr Key?


Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos

Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.