Govt slammed on power bills
ELECTRICITY users are paying higher power prices because the New South Wales Government has failed to freeze electricity dividend payments made to it, the state Opposition says.
Opposition Leader John Robertson says the O’Farrell government will receive $1 billion this year through higher power prices due to a lift in dividend payments.
The government had broken a pre-election promise to keep a lid on electricity prices by freezing the payments, says Mr Robertson.
Dividends flowing from state-owned electricity companies to the NSW Government have increased by $361 million in its first two years in office, he says in a statement.
“That’s the equivalent of $120 extra from each household in the state,” he says.
Mr Robertson says the O’Farrell government is “sending electricity bills soaring for families and businesses in NSW”.
The claims come after federal Opposition frontbencher, Malcolm Turnbull, backed the Commonwealth Government’s view that the “gold-plating” of state government energy infrastructure is a large contributor to rises in the price of electricity.
That’s contrary to the view of federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who says price rises are wholly due to the carbon tax, Sydney media report.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has demanded that states find solutions to take pressure off household power prices by the end of the year or face market watchdogs with greater authority to enforce changes.
But Mr O’Farrell has said that the way to avoid electricity increases this financial year is to scrap the carbon tax.