Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government is looking for any excuse to break its cost of living promises to Queenslanders.
“Mr Newman promised in a contract with Queenslanders to lower power bills by $120 per year. The latest Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) report confirms that this promise is now being broken for a third consecutive year,” Mr Pitt said.
“This is Campbell Newman’s third strike on electricity prices.
“Every time a Queenslander opens their electricity bill, they’ll think about Campbell Newman’s broken promise.
“Under the first year of the LNP power bills went up by more than $140 on average, this year they are going up a record $268 on average and now the QCA have confirmed that bills next year are going up by $192 on average.
“The carbon tax and green schemes existed when Campbell Newman made his election contract with Queenslanders to lower their electricity bills. Now he is attempting to use them as a convenient excuse for breaking his promise to Queenslanders.
“The Treasurer is trying to mislead Queenslanders into thinking that the carbon tax is causing half of the bill increase in 2014-15. This is simply untrue.
“If you look at the independent QCA figures bills would only rise by 3% if only the carbon tax and green schemes were a factor – not 13.6%.
“The blame for this electricity price slug rests squarely at the feet of Campbell Newman.
“The QCA report also details that the fixed charge is set to increase by 66% in 2014-15 after increasing by more than 90% this year.
“This means that even if you turn off your lights and appliances you still won’t escape Campbell Newman’s electricity price slug.
“When the last draft determination came out we saw the same media strategy of not releasing the full story and blaming the carbon tax and green schemes.
“Let’s not forget that when the QCA released its draft determination in February the government said it was an ‘unacceptable’ increase and promised to help households.
“At the time the Treasurer said: ‘This increase is simply unacceptable. The government is committed to finding ways to reduce it, and to reduce the impact on Queensland families.’
“Energy Minister Mark Mr McArdle said: ‘The Government understands the cost of living pressures that Queensland households are under, and increases like this are just not acceptable. The Newman Government will ensure it is reduced to the lowest level possible.’
“In reality when the QCA released its final determination this year bills went up even more than expected – a record increase – and the Government did nothing.
“The QCA’s final report in May detailed that the LNP’s own policy of ‘freezing’ tariffs had contributed to this year’s record 22.6% price rise.
“Before the last state election the current Treasurer, Tim Nicholls, said: ‘The LNP has a very clear plan when it comes to cutting the cost of electricity for Queenslanders. Under our plan, the LNP would be able to offer Queensland households lower power bills than Labor.’
“Once again Mr Nicholls has not produced any such plan.
“The responsibility for this increase in electricity prices once again lays squarely at the feet of Campbell Newman who is desperately trying to fabricate a deception on why he broke his cost of living pledge with Queenslanders.”