Leader of the WA Liberals and Shadow Minister for Energy, Dr David Honey MLA, said today that Western Australians would not be tricked by the one-off $400 power credit contained in Labor’s 2022/23 State Budget for this year only.
“It’s a cynical political ploy to divert attention away from painful cost of living increases in fees and charges imposed by Labor in this and their previous Budgets. In fact, if you read the budget, almost
$160 dollars of the $400 dollar credit is taken back in increased fees and charges. Therefore, it is misleading for the Premier to claim the $400 cost-relief for households.
This $400 cheap power-play is “pocket change” when you compare it to skyrocketing electricity charges for households over the last few years and forecast by Labor to continue to increase.
“In 2017/18, the McGowan Government nearly doubled supply charges for electricity in WA households from $177.38 per year to $346.53 per year – a 95% increase in their first year of Government alone. Now Labor is increasing supply charges to $383.76 per year.
“This charge hurts the poorest households the most and is paid no matter how much you reduce your daily electricity usage.”
The ERA ‘s (Economic Regulation Authority) report in 2020 also revealed customer disconnections were up by almost 6,000 in the two years they had been in office at the time.
Furthermore, the ERA reported the same year that the number of electricity customers put on a hardship program had increased from 21,948 in the year they took office to 35,218 in 2018/19.
“Despite the increase in the number of clearly struggling households, the number of customers granted bill extensions only increased by less than 2%.
“Western Australians are now feeling the full brunt of cost-of-living pressures, with rent and bills rising. This measly $400 credit just won’t cut it for struggling Western Australian families.
“What we urgently need is a freeze on fees and charges as my friend and colleague, Shadow Treasurer, the Hon Dr Steve Thomas has stated.
“The Premier may say he’s supporting Western Australians, but his petty pocket change doesn’t go far enough to alleviate the true cost-of-living issues.
“Western Australians need long-term cost-of-living solutions, not sugar hit vote-buying schemes during a Federal Election,” said Dr Honey.