NSW FAMILIES STRETCHED FURTHER AS COST OF LIVING PRESSURES SWELL ON JULY 1

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Families in NSW will be dealt a further blow on 1 July when electricity prices soar, almost every toll in Sydney increases and over 440 Berejiklian government fees and charges go up.

In July, everything from drivers’ licenses and car registration fees to ambulance fees and energy bills will increase, putting extra pressure on NSW families.

Customers of major energy retailers AGL, Energy Australia and Origin (which hold 90 per cent share of the NSW retail market) will receive sharp price hikes of to 17 per cent collectively after the Berejiklian Government did everything it could to drive up electricity prices, including taking legal action at every turn to block the Australian Energy Regulator’s determination to lower bills.

NSW residents are expecting annual average increases of up to $320 for households and $915 for small businesses, according to analysis by news.com.au.

Energy Australia is predicting electricity bills to increase by $320 (19.6 per cent) a year for average NSW households. Origin Energy customers will pay $282 (16.1 per cent) more a year on average and AGL $296 (16.1 per cent).

For small businesses, Energy Australia customers are expected to pay $915 a year more on average (19.9 per cent) and $748 a year (18 per cent) for Origin customers.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley was in Marsfield today listening to the concerns of café owner Quynh Tran as she grapples with the tough decisions she will have to make as a small business owner facing skyrocketing electricity fees.

To add to the cost of living pain, motorists will have to pay more to drive on the Hills M2, the M5 South-West, the Westlink M7, the Eastern Distributor, the Cross City Tunnel and the Lane Cove Tunnel as tolls go up.

On Monday, thousands of commuters will fork out more than $80 extra a year in train fares, under another Opal fare hike.

Further NSW Government fees and charges increases are set to be announced tomorrow.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Families, pensioners and small businesses already struggling with costs will be slapped with higher electricity prices thanks to the Liberal Government.

“Households will have to find up to an extra $320 and small businesses could be whacked an extra $915 – it’s just not fair.

“Small businesses, like Quynh’s café here in Marsfield, are facing extremely tough decisions as they try to find the money to pay for these rising electricity bills.

“NSW residents are increasingly having difficulty balancing the family budget under the NSW Liberal Government.

“A Foley Labor Government will re-regulate the electricity companies to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Energy Minister Adam Searle

“Families and small businesses are facing record power bills - because the Government did everything it could to drive the price up ahead of privatisation.

“This Government even went to court to overturn the independent regulator’s price cuts.

“Labor will not stand by and let family budgets be crushed and businesses wrecked by power price hikes.”

Quotes attributable to Labor’s candidate for Ryde Jerome Laxale

“People in my electorate tell me how hard cost of living pressures are. Some are afraid they simply won’t be able to afford such price hikes.

“Ryde residents will be wondering why, if the Government has got so much money in the bank, life under the Liberal National Government is getting harder not easier.

“For an average family in Ryde the pain of the Government’s cost of living price increases is going to really hurt.”