Power bill shock to zap family budgets further

It has been revealed the cost of living under the Andrews Labor Government will again sky rocket with average Victorian households and small business to pay over 30 per cent more for electricity.

The Victorian Essential Services Commission has today released its Victorian Default Offer 2023-24 Draft Decision, confirming electricity bills will increase by 31.1 per cent for households and 33.2 per cent for small businesses.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said electricity bill hikes are unsustainable and further evidence the Andrews Labor Government has no plan for reducing power prices.

“This price increase will increase the pressure on households budgets when families can least afford it,” said Ms Bath.

“Too many in our community are struggling to find money to pay their energy bills.

“Bill stress is real, and I hold serious concerns for the many vulnerable Victorians who are already struggling to keep the lights on and warm their homes during winter.

“When Hazelwood Power Station was forced to close due to a tripling in the coal royalties tax, the Andrews Government said household power bills would only rise by a maximum of $44, however in reality the increase was closer to $300.

“Furthermore, Daniel Andrews promised Victorians four years ago he would reduce power prices through a default market offer – instead Victorians are experiencing further bill pain.

Today’s report confirms that average Victorian household will suffer an annual increase of $426, while for small business it’s $1,738.

Ms Bath said while the power saving bonus was a sweetener for homeowners, government handouts do not solve the problem.

“Under Daniel Andrews Victoria has gone from exporter of electricity to a net importer – Labor’s poor energy policy and inability to plan for a renewable transition is punishing families.

“The return of the SEC was touted as Labor’s magic solution, however it’s nothing more than a logo with a couple of highly paid executives, and the Andrews Government is scrambling for investors to fund it.

“The Nationals, like many Victorians are sceptical that Labor has any effective plan to address rising energy prices and provide long-term relief to struggling families and small business owners.”