Power prices

Labour and the Greens announced a policy in April to cut power prices. If Labour and the Greens become the government in 2014, their government would buy electricity directly from the generating companies, like Mighty River Power. They say this would save costs and the government would pass these savings on to consumers. Consumers could save $300 a year.

Electricity costs have risen faster than inflation in the last few years. A report in 2009 showed that electricity companies have been over-charging for years and that has continued up till today.

Business New Zealand is worried about the policy of Labour and the Greens. They say that competition is the best way to bring electricity prices down.

The announcement of this policy came just after people started buying shares in Mighty River Power. John Key said that if anyone wanted to change their minds about buying shares, they could do this.

The next national elections will probably be held in November 2014. If Labour and the Greens win more than 50% of the seats together, this would be a coalition government.

Vocabulary

• policy – a plan the parties believe in
• generating companies – companies which generate the power in power stations: Mighty River, Meridian and Contact Energy
• consumers – people who buy things like electricity
• inflation – rise in prices of goods; in the last 13 years, inflation has been 2.7% a year.
• over-charging – charging too much; prices are too high
• coalition – two parties working together in Parliament






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