PREMIER PROMISES PIECEMEAL SOLUTIONS WHILE ENERGY PRICE CAPS ARE ON THE NATIONAL AGENDA

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The Premier’s ‘cost of living’ measures announced today will do nothing to address soaring electricity prices and only serve to demonstrate how out of touch she is on energy policy.

While Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are talking about setting caps on energy bills, Ms Berejiklian is playing catch up.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley announced in 2017 that a government he leads will re-regulate the electricity companies to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.

At the time Ms Berejiklian criticised the idea and claimed that the de-regulation had benefited families – even as power bills were hitting record highs, soaring by 20 per cent in one hit.  

The Liberals and Nationals have had one energy policy to date – to sell off energy assets like the poles and wires and power stations such as Liddell, resulting in higher power prices for households and businesses.

Instead of stepping in and regulating the market the Premier has twiddled her thumbs. Only now, as pressure mounts on her government for its failure to act on soaring energy prices does the Premier raid the NSW Climate Change Fund and rebadge the initiatives as new ‘cost of living’ measures.

Government figures show that in the past three years alone the State Liberal National Government has sat on $250 million of the Fund’s cash.

Out of an available $1.4 billion in the Fund the Premier is promising a mere $14.4 million a year over five years. Today’s initiative will help less than 1 per cent of NSW’s households.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“This is an absolute joke. The Premier is spending about 5 per cent of the Climate Change Fund and she is expecting a pat on the back.

“Her government has privatised the energy market leading to millions of people being gouged by the energy companies.

“Only now with an election in sight is she desperate to be seen to be doing something.

“The Premier should adopt Labor’s policy of re-regulating the electricity market or the obscene super profits and price gouging will continue.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe

“There is nothing new in this package. These are existing funding programs within the fund that the government has cobbled together to look like they are doing something new or different.

“The announcements are funded over five years and equate to around $14 million a year out of a fund that takes in almost $300 million. This is a drop in the ocean.”  

Quotes attributable to Shadow Energy Minister Adam Searle

“For the last 8 years, this Liberal National Government has presided over skyrocketing electricity prices, brought about by their mania for privatisation and deregulation.

“Only NSW Labor has a plan to bring down electricity bills for households and small businesses.”