Grey Power, Labour and Green party supporters and other citizens will be joining a march and rally against the sale of state-owned assets on Saturday, 30th June.
Starting at noon at Memorial Square in Napier, the participants will march up Emerson Street to the Soundshell on the Marine parade, to hear speakers including MP Clayton Cosgrove (Labour’s speaker on Assets), Molly Melhuish (Grey Power’s spokesperson for power), a Green party speaker and others representing the community.
Molly Melhuish said that “the worst thing about asset sales is that they will lock in the present unfair power pricing.” Nobody would buy a power company then lower the price of power.
“Householders already struggling with their power bills will be shocked by their next one,” she said because a savage price increase coincides with increased winter heating demand.
Household prices rose dramatically in the May quarter. The Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices shows a 5% price increase in the May quarter alone, compared to a 2% increase over the whole previous year.
The biggest increase came from Transpower’s charges. “The worry is that the Commerce Commission has just approved very high Transpower charges, saying the increase can be spread out over a three-year period. So this quarter’s price increase is only the first of a series.”
These recent and future price rises are simply unsustainable to people on low incomes or fixed incomes.
“Families who do not have enough money for their household expenses may find the frustrations come out sideways – whether as drink, family violence, gambling. Often, older people just suffer silently, cold, deprived, robbed of their enjoyment of life.”
Joining the rally is a group of Maraenui residents who, while opposing the sale of State-owned assets, are also concerned about the sell-off of their local State Houses, 50 of which have been emptied in the last 12 months.