Public control of power the only answer for shivering New Zealanders

The Alliance has backed calls from public health groups, consumer watchdogs and Grey Power to stabilize rocketing electricity prices for consumers.
Alliance Party President Victor Billot says it is clear that many people are finding it impossible to keep their homes warm and dry this winter.
Mr Billot says recent reports and statistics of surging power company profits was a disgrace when people were going cold.
“While corporate managers and their political friends enjoy toasty winter nights in warm dry houses, there are a lot of people shivering in cold dark houses right now.”
“Many New Zealanders can’t afford power prices, they can’t afford insulation, and are living in poor quality and overpriced housing, all of which is a public health and welfare issue.”
He says the Alliance Party electricity policy is simple: return all electricity generation and supply to public ownership, under democratic and accountable community control.
“The first goal of our power system should be supplying affordable power to all citizens.”
He says there needs to be major investment in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures such as insulation of all housing.
“We oppose user pays systems or rationing by wealth. We reject any approach which pretends to be environmentally friendly but disadvantages low and fixed income people.”
Mr Billot says the current system is based around profits for both private shareholders and the State, which was wrong.
He says to make the situation even worse, residential customers were bearing the brunt of cost increases and effectively subsidizing big business who paid less.
“The power system was built by the people of New Zealand for the people of New Zealand.”
He says the current situation is a result of extremist National Party policies from the 1990s and a “do nothing” Labour Government.
“While other parties describe themselves as family-friendly, we actually have policies that will benefit families and all New Zealanders, like affordable power.”

ENDS

For more information, contact Alliance Party President Victor Billot on 021482219