The Alliance Party pleads with “Mum and Dad investors” not to buy shares in the electricity companies which the Government is putting up for sale, says Co-Leader Kay Murray.
Electricity is essential these days. We depend on it for lighting, to heat our homes, provide hot water, and to power the many appliances we need for cooking and cleaning. Everyone must be able to afford electricity for their home to ensure their health and safety.
Mighty River Power, Genesis, and Meridian might seem like good investments but only because we all need electricity. Any money that shareholders make out of dividends or increases in the value of shares will come about because of electricity price rises. How else can an electricity company increase their profits? The rest of New Zealand will pay for your windfalls through higher electricity prices.
Arguably electricity prices are too high already. We frequently hear stories of elderly people sitting wrapped up in blankets, going to bed at 7pm because they can’t afford to heat their houses properly. We are told young children are presenting at health services with respiratory infections and other illnesses directly linked to cold, damp houses. The consequences for the elderly and young children if electricity prices rise significantly higher don’t bear thinking about.
Do “Mum and Dad investors” want this on their conscience? The Alliance urges people to put their chequebooks away and instead lobby the Government to stop asset sales and promote affordable sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand instead. Your children and your grandchildren will thank you.