BAIRD MUST RULE OUT BACKDATING ELECTRICITY BILLS

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Families and small businesses face getting hit with a double whammy of electricity bill increases – this year’s and next - if the Baird Government wins its court case against lower prices.

Since July 1 NSW electricity users have been enjoying lower prices – to the tune of $24 million a week or $100 million to date - following a determination by the Australian Energy Regulator.

But the Baird Government is appealing the price cuts in order to boost the sale price of the poles and wires. The case is expected to be decided by the end of this year.

Should the Government win its court case – which resumes today – the NSW Labor Opposition has called on it to rule out back dating the increased charges from 1 July 2015.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre has estimated that households could face a price increase of $420 next year if backdated charges proceed.

 Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Mike Baird’s appeal against the regulator’s decision to lower power prices will hurt small businesses and households who are struggling to make ends meet. About $100 million is flowing back into the NSW economy because of these prices cuts and now Mike Baird wants to take it back.”

“By proceeding with this court case Mike Baird has done the wrong thing by the people of NSW. This will be made worse if he wins his case and then seeks a back dated payment of the price increases.”

“The price cuts mean that $24 million a week is staying in the pockets of NSW businesses and households. Mike Baird wants to take it right back from people in a year’s time.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Energy Minister Adam Searle

“This court case is about one thing only – Premier Baird imposing higher power prices on every household and business in the state in order to fatten these companies for sale.”

“The Government must commit to not clawing back the existing price cuts that have now been implemented, should they win this case.”