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Price gouging behind big power bills: Senate inquiry exposes lack of political will to fix it

The Greens say only gutless recommendations are contained in today's report from the Senate inquiry into electricity prices, which shows the only thing stopping Australians from enjoying lower electricity prices immediately is the lack of political will to stop major networks from gouging their customers.

"It's plainly obvious that to bring down power bills and pollution we must start with the electricity market and network charges," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Big power bills are the direct result of wildly inflated network charges. The big networks are price gouging, and both Labor and the Coalition are letting them get away with it.

"Evidence in this inquiry showed that more than half of people's power bills are wildly inflated network changes. The rules allow the networks to rip off consumers but there is no political will to fix it. Neither the Abbott government or the Labor Party will face up to it.

"Tony Abbott's "axe the tax" slogan completely ignored the main driver of increased prices, which was the wildly inflated network charges.

"It was disgraceful for Tony Abbott and the Coalition to go after the price on pollution as the cause of financial pain for households, when it was actually the rorts that allow the big companies to inflate prices. That's why electricity prices are still going up after the carbon price, but now he wants to do nothing.

"The report is gutless. I am dissenting from the tone of the whole report which identifies the problems but doesn't recommend anything be done about it," said Senator Milne.


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