Government's electricity review doesn't go far enough, anti-poverty campaigner says

An anti-poverty campaigner says the price of power is so high, some families are having to choose between paying for rent or paying for power.

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Auckland Action Against Poverty group’s Ricardo Menéndez March spoke about the Government’s review into electricity. Source: Breakfast

The response to the electricity price review was released yesterday, with the Government agreeing to 20 of its recommendations.

In September, 2018, a Government investigation found those who could not afford to pay their bills on time were being charged up to 26 per cent more for their power.

Auckland Action against poverty group’s Ricardo Menéndez March today told TVNZ 1's Breakfast no family should have to make the decision to choose between paying for rent or paying for power.

The review recommended prohibiting the practice of prompt payment, while still allowing reasonable late payment fees. However, the Government decided to write to the industry with the expectation of scrapping prompt payment schemes, and only regulate if the industry does not abide.

He says the Government has not gone far enough and what consumers really need is Government regulation to keep power prices down.

“The Government cannot leave it up to the benevolence of companies to just do the right thing,” says Mr Menéndez March.

“This Government needs to introduce legislation to end late payment fees, prompt payment discounts as well as maybe put in some regulations on just exactly what is the maximum that someone can charge for electricity.”