Consumers paying the price for power privatisation

Consumers paying the price for power privatisation

Privatisation has failed to bring down power prices for consumers, with Australians paying between $100 and $200 every year to cover the sales and marketing budgets of the electricity retailers, according to a new report from the Australia Institute.

The report shows that the trickle-down economic experiments conducted in the energy sector have failed to provide the promised lower prices and greater efficiency and have instead caused significant increases to power bills.

Electricity bills, along with other key non-discretionary spending categories, are increasing much faster than pay packets, affecting the quality of life working people can afford in Australia.

With wage growth at near record lows Australian workers are being pushed to the edge by the rising cost of basic utilities and the failure of the Morrison Government to act on the wages crisis.

In the years since privatisation conservative governments have focused on scapegoats to explain increasing energy prices, rather than addressing the fundamental failure of their trickle-down experiment.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Australian workers are struggling with near record low wage growth. We simply can’t afford the exponential increase in power prices caused by the failure of privatisation.

“Privatisation hasn’t delivered any of the promised benefits. People are paying more to cover costs that only exist because of privatisation – like sales and marketing.

“Instead of facing up to their failures and the incredible cost of uncertainty on energy policy in the last ten years the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government has instead lashed out at renewable energy and state governments as the focus of blame for increases.

“We need to urgently address the wage crisis, change the rules on electricity and return the bulk of electricity assets to public hands. Working people need affordable power and can’t keep paying the price for the Morrison Governments failures.”