O’Farrell gouging billions from NSW families in higher electricity prices

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Premier Barry O’Farrell has broken his promise to freeze electricity dividend payments to his government – and will gouge $1 billion from NSW families this year through higher electricity prices.

“The O’Farrell Government is sending electricity bills soaring for families and businesses in NSW,” Opposition Leader John Robertson said.

“Instead of keeping his promise to freeze dividends, Barry O’Farrell has increased the electricity dividends paid to his government by a whopping 56 per cent.

“The O’Farrell Government has increased dividends by $361 million in its first two years, the equivalent of $120 extra from each household in the State.

“NSW families and businesses are the ones paying for Barry O’Farrell’s broken promise.”

During the election campaign, Mr O’Farrell promised to freeze the electricity dividends being paid to government.

Instead, the Premier is gouging:

Financial Year: Dividends from Electricity Companies to O'Farrell Government:
2011/12   $820 million
2012/13     $999 million
TOTAL $1.819 billion

 

(Source: 2012/13 Budget paper no.2, 5-18)

By comparison, in the former government’s last year in office NSW received $638 million in electricity dividends. Shadow Energy Minister Luke Foley said:

"The O'Farrell Government will reap one billion dollars in dividends from state owned electricity companies this financial year.”

"If the O’Farrell Government had frozen dividend payments at the levels they were at when they were elected, families in NSW would be paying far less on their electricity bills.

“These figures speak for themselves. Barry O’Farrell is lining his own government’s coffers at the expense of the families of NSW.”