Government dipping into Sydney Water to prop up budget-->
It’s been revealed the Baird Government is gouging water users to shore up its budget position, ahead of the loss of dividends once the electricity network is privatised.
The Government has secretly raised the proportion of Sydney Water’s profit that gets diverted to state coffers from 70 per cent in 2014/15 to 100 per cent this financial year – meaning the government now pockets all of Sydney Water’s post-tax profits.
Because of this sneaky change, this year the Baird Government will bank $652 million in dividends from Sydney Water – $223 million more than originally forecast.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Water Mick Veitch
“Gouging Sydney Water is going hit water users one way or the other. If Mike Baird is ripping money out of the system it can only mean one of two things – consumers are either paying too much for their water or Sydney Water is cutting back on maintenance.”
“Ordinary people are paying a hefty price to prop up Mike Baird’s budget position. That money should be given back to consumers with price cuts or should be reinvested back into the network to ensure fewer water leaks and waste.”
“Increasing dividends by more than 50 per cent just smacks of gouging and shows just how much the Baird Government relies upon dividends from state-owned organisations like Sydney Water to make it look good financially.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley
“Mike Baird’s surplus is reliant on a seriously unstable source of revenue – Sydney’s overheating property market. It’s no surprise Mike Baird is looking for other sources of revenue, but water users shouldn’t be used to balance the budget.”
“Pocketing all of Sydney Water’s profit is a clear sign of a government worried about its future budget position – as it should be.”