This morning, The Age reported “The number of homes having gas and electricity disconnected has hit staggering levels with more than 58,000 disconnections in one year”
Many people will remember that Prime Minister Tony Abbott assured the nation that with the repeal of the Carbon Tax, electricity bills would come down by roughly $700 per household. But they appear to be going up and disastrously so for some families.
It was a stupid thing to promise in the first place and rates alongside the other stupid things that the Prime Minister has said during his term in office. But is very sad commentary that electricity, which is something we all take for granted in a civilised society, is now beyond the means of the poorest Victorians.
In part, it comes back to the misguided policies of the Kennett government which privatised the provision of the transport, power and water supplies to Victorians.
There was a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamics of privatisation. Private investors will add a profit margin to the product which the state-owned enterprise did not have to earn. And the desire for a healthy return on investment leads to continual price increases.
And there’s really no accountability for the politicians like Stockdale and Kennett whose lack of understanding of the nature of the social contract between the state and the electorate has landed us in this particular mess.