Meridian’s Government-sponsored Tiwai Point deal has given Rio Tinto a cut of tens of millions of dollars in electricity prices every year, while power bills keep increasing for Kiwi families, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“Kiwi families know they are being overcharged for their electricity. Seeing Rio Tinto get a power bill cut of tens of millions of dollars a year while their bills go up rubs salt into the wound.
“The difference between residential and industrial prices is already the second highest in the developed world, and it just got even larger.
“Meridian has today reported that the deal with Rio Tinto has resulted in a $470 million value decrease for the SOE. They’ve just cut the price they charge for the 40 per cent of their electricity that they supply to the Tiwai Point smelter.
“What a win for Rio Tinto. This is on top of the $30 million sweetener from the Government, designed to enable the unwise sell off of Meridian to proceed.
“Yet Kiwi families are facing ever-increasing power bills. Residential bills are still increasing faster than inflation, and have been for twenty years
“Massive commercial users such as Rio Tinto get multi-million dollar power price cuts while Kiwi families have to put up with power bills that rose by five times the rate of inflation last year. There’s nothing they can do about it. Under Max Bradford’s electricity system, home electricity users never get a break.
“The electricity market is broken. It must be fixed. Labour’s NZ Power policy will cut Kiwi families’ power bills by hundreds of dollars a year and stop the gap between commercial and residential power bills growing ever larger” says David Parker.
12 August 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT