web analytics

Nats lied – power prices to rise

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, August 15th, 2012 - 36 comments
Categories: bill english, class war, energy, Privatisation - Tags: , , ,

Privatising our power companies means higher power prices for everyone (even “mums and dads”). This makes obvious sense – private companies are all about profit. And there’s data to back it up. Labour and the Greens have been pushing the message that private power companies charge about 12% more (as we’ve covered before). The Nats tried to brazen it out:

Power price comparisons wrong: English

Claims that privately owned power companies charge the highest prices are wrong, the government says. … Acting Prime Minister Bill English says Treasury’s figures have been taken out of context.

“The calculations you are seeing, trying to say SOEs have lower prices, are simply wrong,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Ministers dismiss energy pricing analysis

The Greens have accused the Government of “bullying” energy analyst Molly Melhuish over her calculations which suggested state-owned power companies were cheaper.

Mrs Melhuish made a submission on the Government’s “mixed ownership model” legislation this year in which she said the partial privatisation of Mighty River, Meridian and Genesis was likely to result in higher power prices for customers.

In support of her argument she provided analysis showing that state-owned power companies on average – and “weighted” for customer numbers – charged about 12 per cent, or $240 a year, less than their private-sector counterparts. She later updated that figure to $265.

Labour and the Greens cited Mrs Melhuish’s analysis in their attacks on the asset sales programme but her work was dismissed in Parliament by Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall.

Unfortunately for the Nats, official documents prove them wrong. The second piece above continues:

However, in a June 8 report to Mr Ryall, Treasury said Mrs Melhuish’s conclusion of an annual average $240 difference between state-owned and private companies’ charges “appears broadly accurate”.

In the report released to NewsTalkZB this week under the Official Information Act, Treasury noted that Mrs Melhuish erred by understating the number of customers of Mercury Energy, but said that “does not materially decrease the $240 figure”.

In spite of this advice, Mr Ryall told Parliament on June 20 Mrs Melhuish’s error “makes a material difference to the weighted result”. Yesterday Mr Ryall stood by his answer, saying: “Advice on the day from both MED and Treasury is that her conclusion is wrong”.

But Treasury’s advice to Mr Ryall that day was that Mrs Melhuish was just $23 out and SOE power companies charged $242 less on a weighted average basis.

Labour’s finance spokesman David Parker said it was “outrageous” for Mr Ryall to claim Mrs Melhuish’s figures were wrong “when in fact she was right and he knew it”.

Furthermore, Mr Parker said it appeared that National Party members on the finance and expenditure committee which considered the Government’s asset sales legislation had voted to report the bill back to Parliament early, “in order to prevent Opposition members getting Treasury advice as to whether the assertion by Molly Melhuish was correct”.

Turns out that common sense is right – private power companies charge more. Privatisation surely means that prices will rise. Is it even news when this government lies these days?


History

36 comments on “Nats lied – power prices to rise”

  1. higherstandard 1

    The question that really needs to be asked is why are power charges considerably less over the other side of the Tasman ?

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 1.1

      The question that must be asked first is: do you have a source for that, since here’s one that flatly contradicts you.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        That link doesn’t seem too accurate. It has the cost of an internet plan in NZ with 6mbps and unlimited data at US$49.95 per month. If that is a real plan could someone let me know who for so I can change to it.

        Edit: Don’t worry just found out anyone can change the information in there.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Could be something to do with them getting most of their power from coal. Just a guess.

      • tc 1.2.1

        Also they lack all the expensive ‘compliance’ that strangles each component here we had a More cost effective system under the old NZED.

        The shitfights between grid and lines companies, the laughable retail structure and more.
        Private interests wants the maximum return possible rather than strengthen the network and then you have 3 sets of auditors and matching legal bandwidth to protect your arse.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          Yep, private competition drives prices up due to duplication of bureaucracy, increased auditors for compliance and then there’s the dead weight loss of profit.

    • Dave 1.3

      They aren’t, they are much higher, especially considering that GST is higher here. They will be going even higher with the carbon tax too.

  2. marsman 2

    ‘Is it even news when this government lies these days’- They have been lying since before they slimed their way into power. It would be news if they actually told the truth about something, anything. Wonder how their children will turn out with parents who lie for a very comfortable living, something for them to aspire to?

  3. Tracey 3

    But it’s just a lie. Contrarian yesterday spent alot of his day on another lie saying “who cares.”

    They lie and lie with impunity. It would be great to get a whistle blower revealing exactly how much Nation spends on pr advisors etc…,

    yet again, well done the GREENS, Labour continues to coat-tail them, but they are leading the challenge of this government on FACTS

    • Because a white lie to a small town newspaper in America is a complete
      non-event you worthless ass-hat.

      Oh yeah, and go fuck yourself clownshoes.

      [Contrary is fine. Mindless personal abuse isn’t welcome. r0b].

      Fuck off Rob.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        I suspect this may be a short conversation, but whatever you think about yesterday’s lie, this one is significant, and seems to have been repeated in Parliament.

        • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1

          Yes, this one means something. A single comment, unquoted and out of context means very little. You worthless cretins should know the difference.

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1

            For a post-grad politics type person you sure are ignorant about politics.

            Having my doubts about your honesty old bean.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Luckily it matters not whether you believe me or not.

              What the fuck do I care about some nameless wretched scumbag with shit for brains questioning my studies?

              Believe what you will, old bean. 

              [TheContrarian is clearly aiming for self-inflicted martyrdom, and I am happy to oblige. You’ll be welcome back in a week if you want to be contrary without the potty-mouth. r0b]

  4. shorts 4

    does anyone think for a second the public believe(d) the line that prices wouldn’t go up?

    except for the faithful media reporters who couldn’t ask an insightful question if it was written down for them

    Still maybe they’ll drop when the Bluff aluminium smelter closes due to a huge over supply

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10826027

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    How stupid does a government have to be to sell its infrastructure! Calling power companies “assets” is a public relations trick to make them sound like shares.

    The only conclusion I can come to is Key & Co. are stupid or thieves. Please, someone offer another explanation. (P.S. Since they are getting away with it, I am not inclined to think they are stupid.)

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    David Parker, get some balls.

    Don’t say Ryall’s statement was “outrageous,” say Ryall is a “Liar.”

    That would get a headline and some debate in the media.

    Too much pussyfooting by the Labour front bench . . . as usual.

    • Tom Gould 6.1

      AmaKiwi, there was once a time when a senior Minister lied to the House and to the media they would have been ridiculed and lost their job. Seems lying is commonplace with these Tories, it is no longer news. The MSM is so embedded with these Tories now, they are actually part of the deception.

      • Matt 6.1.1

        NZ government consistently ranks high in perceived “transparency”, only after living here a few years does it seem clear what that meant.

    • tracey 6.2

      I thought transparency was having more than one family?

  7. captain hook 7

    of course power prices will rise.
    how can they make any money if they dont keep raising prices.

  8. Dave 8

    There is some egregious selective quoting going on there. Ryall said in Parliament that the error about the number of customers – “the calculations assumed Mercury Energy has 19,188 customers when, in fact, it has 364,600 customers” – was only one of a number of errors, and that “taking into account the full range of payment method and payment time discounts—and, frankly, in the real world that is what you do—officials advised a different result. Those figures [government-owned vs privately-owned retailers] are $2,113.60 and $2,101.60. The private electricity companies are cheaper by $12 a year”.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      You’re talking out your arse. The OIA information has the Treasury saying that the research wasn’t far wrong. The private companies were still significantly more expensive than the SoEs.

      • Dave 8.1.1

        The parts I quoted are what Ryall actually said in Parliament on the 20th of June, according to Hansard. He said he was relying on two pieces of advice from the Ministry of Economic Development, not Treasury, so those are the documents that should have been OIA’ed.

        He also said “Using the assumptions made by Mrs Melhuish, and correcting the errors, the latest available data, I am advised, has the two figures as $2,113.60 and $2,332.00. ” In other words private companies were $218 more expensive by that measure, but taking prompt payment discounts etc. into account, they were cheaper.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          The SoEs also have prompt payment discounts etc so it still sounds like the private companies are more expensive.

          • Dave 8.1.1.1.1

            Contact’s discount is 22%, much higher than Meridian which is around 10-12% as I recall. Coincidentally the price difference before discounts ($218) is around 10% of the yearly total.

            • Crashcart 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Prompt payment discounts only make power bills cheaper for those who earn enough money to ensure the power can go out straight away. As usual those on lower incomes living week to week often get behind and so pay more for their power. Yea really fair of the government to take into account those prompt payment discounts when deciding on policy that takes assets away from those same low income earners to sell to rich ones.

  9. Tracey 9

    It’s often been said that the discounted rate is the actual rate, if you like, and those who don’t pay early get penalised… prettily packaged the other way round…

    • crashcart 9.1

      Never made much sense to me that those who are struggling the most have to pay more. Even from a buisness sence. If a person can’t pay the discounted rate what in the hell makes them think charging a higher amount is going to allow them to pay. It’s like punishment for earning less as though earning less isn’t punishment enough in itself.

  10. captain hook 10

    they lie about everything.
    you cant flog a dead horse to a texas ranger unless you lie.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


History

  • Crime states paint a dismal picture
    The crime statistics released today paint a picture of crime on the increase as Judith Collin’s promise of more front line cops fails to materialise, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “There were over 9500 more burglaries, almost 4,000 more ...
    4 hours ago
  • Nick Smith must urgently intervene to avoid housing delays
    National must urgently legislate to make the unitary plan operable while allowing a high court challenge against to make its way through the legal process, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland desperately needs this plan right away to ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis drowning in debt in out of control housing market
    New statistics reveal Kiwis are taking on record levels of debt in order to get into the housing market, as prices continue to outstrip incomes, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Stats NZ has today revealed real estate loans ...
    1 day ago
  • Planning reform report a turning point?
     A joint report from business and environmentalists on the Resource Management laws could be a turning point for both planning and environmental protection, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.  “The four organisations, the Environmental Defence Society, the Property Council, the ...
    1 day ago
  • Privatisation and deregulation not the solution
    Deregulation, privatisation, and shifting more of the cost onto students isn’t the way to address inequality, lack of innovation and declining participation in tertiary education, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 day ago
  • Homeownership out of reach for middle income Aucklanders
    New figures show that even middle income Aucklanders are finding themselves unable to afford to buy a first home as National’s housing crisis rolls on, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New data released by interest.co.nz shows that the lower ...
    2 days ago
  • More toilet cleaners or more tradespeople?
    The Government is not doing enough to help the construction and trades sector meet its workforce demand, instead steering students towards cleaning toilets, says Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa. ...
    2 days ago
  • More cracks appear in health funding
    News that the Waikato District Health Board could lose $2.7 million from its budget because it failed to make an elective target is downright disturbing, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “This is a DHB that has tried ...
    2 days ago
  • Student debt cracks the billion mark
    New figures showing that student loan defaulters have now clocked over $1 billion in debt highlights National's failure to combat spiralling student loan debt, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "Threatening to arrest returning student loan borrowers at the ...
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Students just a commodity to National
    National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has confirmed that his party sees international students as nothing more than a commodity, says Labour's Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. "Mr Bakshi’s appalling comparison of some students to 'faulty fridges' that should be returned to ...
    4 days ago
  • Tolley’s spin on Education spend doesn’t add up
    National’s spin about school funding won’t wash with parents who are paying more and more of the cost of their kids’ education every year, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “All the spin in the world can’t hide the fact ...
    4 days ago
  • National not facing up to export challenge
    “The latest export data from Statistics New Zealand paints a picture of an economy which is not paying its way in the world, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Exports fell 9% - led by milk powder exports falling to ...
    4 days ago
  • Correction over Talley’s statement
    Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway has been advised by AFFCO Ltd that AFFCO is not advertising for staff in the Manawatu through MSD as stated in a press statement released earlier today.  “I have been advised by AFFCO that ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister, cut your losses – withdraw this doomed Bill
    Local Government Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga’s request for a five month extension on the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) is an admission that the Bill is fundamentally flawed, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson ...
    7 days ago
  • Coleman’s cuts create crisis
    Mental health services in New Zealand are in a state of crisis with Youthline saying that calls for extreme depression doubled last year, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “About 150 young Kiwis are missing out on help ...
    1 week ago
  • Government helping Talley’s to break workers
    The Ministry for Social Development appears to be assisting Talley’s-Affco replace experienced workers effectively locked out by the company, say Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni and Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “MSD is advertising for meat processing workers for ...
    1 week ago
  • Electives lag due to $1.7 billion hole
    The lag in hip and knee replacements is a direct consequence of the Government’s $1.7 billion underfunding of health, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “A comprehensive study by the University of Otago says that the rate of ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Master Builders’ Constructive conference
    Today’s all about being Constructive. And that is good because I believe there is a hunger out there for positive solutions. We must be able to believe there can be a better future. ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Party housing plan complete failure
    The Māori Party’s housing plan to put more Māori into more homes has been a complete failure with fewer than five loans granted per year, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fund IRD better to go after tax avoiders
    National’s Tax Working Group used the following graph (p30) in 2010 as part of their justification to cut the top tax rate. The big peaks around the top tax threshold were evidence of a suspiciously high number of taxpayers ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika youth ignored by the Government
    The Adolescent Health Research Group’s new report on the wellbeing of young Pacific people shines a spotlight on the Government’s failure  to deliver any “brighter future” for them, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Their research shows ...
    1 week ago
  • Police in the provinces are dissatisfied
    Police in the cities of Gisborne, Napier and Hastings are a lot more unhappy than their big city cousins says Labour’s Police Spokesman Stuart Nash.     “In fact the top four districts for enjoyable work within NZ Police are ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt action needed after Wheeler holds
    The Reserve Bank Governor’s warning that “excessive house price inflation” is posing a risk to financial stability puts the pressure back on the Government to take action to address the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister confirms – new ministry only about abuse
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Silver Ferns Farms decision a tragedy
    The rubber stamping by the Overseas Investment Office of the Shanghai Maling buyout of Silver Fern Farms is a sorry day for the once proud New Zealand meat sector, says Labour’s spokesperson for Primary Industries, Damien O’Connor.  “Generations of Kiwis ...
    1 week ago
  • Benching Nick Smith first step to Kermadec solution
    Side-lining Nick Smith must be the first step in sorting out the Government's Kermadec debacle, says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Last week Labour called for Nick Smith to be removed from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana over the ...
    1 week ago
  • Parents, schools, teachers oppose bulk funding
    Overwhelming opposition to the National Government’s school bulk funding proposal is unsurprising and Hekia Parata should now unequivocally rule out proceeding with the idea, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Bulk funding could only lead to bigger class sizes or ...
    1 week ago
  • MBIE gives up on enforcing the law
      The Government must provide labour inspectors with the resources they need to enforce basic employment law after reports that MBIE is only prosecuting the worst cases, says Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Today’s news that MBIE ...
    1 week ago
  • West Coast population declines amid bleak economic forecast
    Despite the country experiencing record population growth, the number of people living in the West Coast fell, highlighting struggles in the region from low commodity prices and a poor economic forecast, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest ...
    1 week ago
  • Recovery roadblocks cause for concern
    Strong pressure on mental health services, a flagging local economy and widespread issues with dodgy earthquake repairs are all causes for concern for people in Canterbury according to a new survey, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Today the CDHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Motel purchase must not kick people onto the street
    The Government’s purchase of a South Auckland motel to house the homeless must come with a promise that the current long term tenants will not be kicked out onto the streets, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is bizarre ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not everyone singing along to so-called rock star economy
    The Westpac McDermott Miller Confidence Survey shows there is serious unease about the economy’s ability to deliver benefits to many New Zealanders, despite the Government trumpeting headline figures, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “According to this survey a significantly ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Youth no better off under National’s “guarantee”
    John Key’s Youth Guarantee is such a spectacular failure that those who undertake the programme are more likely to end up on a benefit and less likely to end up in full-time employment than those who don’t, Leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More low-skilled students becoming residents
    New figures showing international students now make up nearly 40 per cent of all principal applicants approved for New Zealand residency and that their skill level has fallen dramatically, are further evidence that National’s immigration system is broken, says Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 35% of offshore speculators paying no tax
    Offshore investors are aggressively exploiting tax breaks to pay no tax on their rental properties according to IRD data released by Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “35% of offshore investors are paying no tax on their properties, and are pocketing ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Friday fish dump stinks
    This government has dumped bad news on a Friday to try to avoid political scrutiny in Parliament, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OECD report card: National must try harder
    The OECD report on education shows there’s much more to be done for young Kiwis, Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kermadec stoush shows Maori Party double-standards
    The Māori Party’s reaction to the trampled Treaty rights and the Government’s lack of consultation on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary reeks of the same arrogant mismanagement of the unpopular Maori land reforms, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flawed fish dumping calls
    The finding that MPI failed to properly enforce the law even when it had evidence of fish dumping seriously damages the trust and credibility of the Ministry, the industry and this Government, Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sidestepping Smith should be side-lined
    Nick Smith's arrogance and disrespect towards Māori is putting the future of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary at risk and he needs to excuse himself from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana, Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must respond to cash for jobs scam
    Urgent Government action is required to halt  the emerging cash-for-jobs immigration scandal that is taking hold in New Zealand says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Stories of rogue immigration agents scamming thousands of dollars from migrant workers are just further ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government dragging its feet on surgical mesh
    Jonathan Coleman is dragging his feet over any action to protect New Zealanders from more disasters with surgical mesh, says Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The Government’s pathetic response is to claim all will be fixed by a new regime to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s baby number app goes gangbusters
    An interactive tool that celebrates Labour’s achievements in health over the decades has become an online hit, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Since the tool was launched last night, 18 thousand people have used it to find their baby ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Real disposable income falls in last three months
    Kiwis are working harder than ever but real disposable income per person fell in the last quarter thanks to record population increases, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said. ‘In Budget 2016 the National Government said that what mattered most for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Baby number app celebrates Labour achievements
    Labour has launched an interactive tool that allows New Zealanders to take a look back at our achievements in health over the decades, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Today is the 78th anniversary of the Social Security Act 1938, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal experts unpick Māori land reforms
    One of New Zealand’s top law firms has joined the chorus of legal experts heavily critical of the controversial Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, adding more weight to the evidence that the reforms fall well beneath the robust legal standards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Industries most reliant on immigration worst offenders
    The industries most reliant on immigration are the worst offenders when it comes to meeting their most basic employment obligations, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “The industries that are most reliant on immigration are Hospitality, Administration, Agriculture, Forestry and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to remove law that discriminates against sole parents
    It’s time to repeal a harmful law that sanctions those who do not name the other parent of their child, Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Every week, 17,000 children are missing out because their sole parent is being ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government handling of Kermadecs threatens Treaty rights
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister should give Police Minister some backbone
    The Prime Minister should condemn the ridiculously light sentence given to Nikolas Delegat for seriously assaulting a police woman, Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago


History


History


History