Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Abbott 'Best Possible Christmas Present' That Isn't

best possible Christmas present for the Australian people
[Tony Abbott, December 2013]

Even if the Australian Senate voted to repeal the former Labor Government’s Clean Energy legislation before it goes into recess at the end of the 12 December 2013 sitting day, power bills will probably not see any decrease before late-2014 at the earliest as the Abbot Government does not intend to abolish the carbon price levy until 1 June that year.

By the Abbott Government’s own admission the carbon price levy only adds $9 to every $100 dollars of the average household’s energy bills so each household would be 'saving' a monumental $1.50 a day after May next year. By comparison state government-owned network poles and wires charges add $51 to every $100 dollars of the average bill and that part of the bill is not going away in the foreseeable future.

In addition, the Abbott Government has no date set to reduce the renewable energy tariff component of the power bill which also adds to the cost of power to the home or business, nor is it planning to abolish the most lucrative arm of the so-called ‘carbon tax’ – the levy paid by the off-shore oil and gas industry.

The Abbott Government also has no power to set electricity or gas retail prices. That is the purview of states and territories regulators and, in part, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). In NSW the state regulator is the Independent Pricing And Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and its current prices are set until June 2014.

As the morning of 1 July 2014 dawns across the NSW Northern Rivers, can you be certain that your power bill will fall sometime in the next two years or will you find that it continues to rise and rise?

Either way, Santa Abbott is not reducing your power bill this Christmas.

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