ELECTRICITY AND GOVERNMENT FEE INCREASES ADD TO COST OF LIVING PRESSURES

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From today Sydney families will find it even harder to make ends meet with power bills sky rocketing, tolls increasing and 475 Baird Government fees and charges going up.

Everything from drivers licences to car registrations and ambulance call out fees are all set to go up. 

 

A NSW Labor analysis of major energy retailers AGL, Energy Australia and Origin shows sharp price hikes of anywhere between seven and 17 per cent. (See over page for the full analysis.)

 

A two adult, two child household using around 6000 kilowatts of electricity per year faces increases of between $146.92 and $247.75 depending on their retailer and specific power plan.

 

A retired couple using around 4700 kilowatts per year are facing increases between $122.80 and $199.60.

 

The increase in retail electricity prices follows the Government’s decision to spend tax payer money in a court battle with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) over electricity distribution charges.

 

The legal battle has forced the Australian Energy Regulator back to the drawing board, with an interim increase of 1.5 per cent approved for distribution companies.

 

The original AER determination, if accepted by the Government, would have seen average household power bills fall by anywhere between $190 and $338 a year. Small business could have expected average savings of $569 per year.

 

The Baird Government is desperately fighting the AER to make Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy more profitable prior to being sold.

 

On the state’s roads, heavy vehicles are the biggest losers in the latest round of quarterly toll increases. Truck tolls on the M7 increase by $1.74, the M2 by $0.21, the Eastern Distributor by $0.14, the Lane Cove Tunnel by $0.36, Military Road by $0.17 and the Cross City Tunnel by $0.07.

 

Meanwhile it’s a mixed bag for motorists with the Eastern Distributor, Hills M2 and Cross City Tunnel increasing, while the M7 falls by two cents and other toll roads are unchanged.

 

On the same day as power bills and tolls rise the Government will increase the fee amount for 475 different Government transactions.

 

Tradespeople are amongst the worst affected with licence fees for individual contractors increasing by 24 per cent from $1210 to $1234 for a three year licence.

 

The cost of renewing the family car is set to increase by 2.5 per cent to $286 per annum while the cost for a five year driver’s license will increase by 2.3 per cent to $178.

 

Ambulance call-out fees are also rising sharply, up from $357 to $364.

 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park

 

“Mike Baird rolled out the highest taxing budget in the state’s history last week. The cash grab continues with electricity bills and 475 government fees and charges increasing from July 1.

 

“Families, pensioners and small businesses already struggling with costs will be slapped with higher electricity prices thanks to Mr Baird and energy retailers.

 

“If ever there was proof that this was a Grinch Government, their appalling cash grab from taxpayer’s wallets while trumpeting budget surpluses is it.

 

“For a family of two adults and two children where one parent is a tradesperson, the pain of the Government’s cost of living price increases is going to hurt.

 

“The Government should be doing all it can to make the cost of living more affordable for the public. Instead, they’re busy with expensive court battles to raise power bills.”

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