Prime Minister John Key says that the sale of our electricity companies is on again. Good news for the wealthy few Mums and Dads with enough spare money to invest, bad news for the rest of us. Ever-increasing power price hikes are all most families have to look forward to.
Investors put their money into companies for one reason only – to make more money. They do not have the health and wellbeing of our nation at heart. Once the remaining publicly owned electricity companies are placed on the share market, providing the maximum return for private investors will become their sole purpose.
When power prices skyrocket what will happen? There are not many options. The government could use taxpayers’ money to subsidize the profits of private investors by providing some sort of allowance for people who can’t afford to pay for power? Or they could allow people to live cold miserable lives, with all the health problems that brings. That’s not the New Zealand way.
It seems inevitable that electricity will have to be brought back into public ownership again. The only question is how? If the country cannot afford to do it any other way power companies will simply have to be compulsorily renationalised.
Investors should consider this possibility before they buy shares in our electricity companies. People come first. Power must be affordable for everyone. If that means a few wealthy investors have to sacrifice a little of their fortune for the common good, so be it.