Bridges cannot argue with the CPI –electricity prices are up

Today’s CPI gives the lie to Simon Bridge’s claim that power prices only rose by 2.3 % in the last year. Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says.

“Its official; the CPI index says power prices increased by 4.2% in the last quarter. This is the second highest quarterly increase in electricity prices measured by the CPI index this century


“The only other time it was higher was in June 2012 at 4.5%. 

“The updated CPI shows, just how much the Government’s updated statistics downplay the increase in prices under their new reporting system. 

“Yesterday the Government was smugly boasting about a ‘small’ 2.3 per cent increase in power prices to March. What the Energy Minister was not saying was that the increase is smaller because the Government has changed the way it calculates electricity pricing. The CPI proves Mr Bridges was just prevaricating. 

“Ironically the power prices in the CPI index also eclipse all the other increases in prices which sat at only 0.3% in the last quarter. 

“The tragedy is that too many New Zealanders are living in cold, damp houses because they cannot afford to put the heater or the electric blanket on. Today’s CPI shows that the Government should be focussed on reducing Kiwi’s power bills, not covering them up. 

A Labour Government would take decisive action on power prices. Through NZ Power we will cut hundreds of dollars off an average household power bill and help to slow future increases,” said David Shearer.