I have an elderly father in his 80’s and my friends mother in her 70’s they both turn off their hot water during the week and only turn it on once a week to shower. Dishes are in the dishwasher which gets turned on when it is full.

This is outrageous, the price of electricity has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

I have not had a pay rise in 3 years along with probably a good number of NZ’rs. Where do these fat cats get off raising the prices, then the line changes then the usage again and again and again. -Mescal Bardy

There's something less than edifying about Phil Goff's sorry attempt to paint himself and Labour as 'a friend of the people'. Scratch the surface and you will find the same old neoliberal party that we've put up with for over two decades.

At the Labour Party conference Goff said he was 'sorry' that Labour had mucked about with lighbulbs and shower heads. He also made a few noises about implementing a capital gains tax and attacked price gouging by the power companies. But, as I said in a previous post, Goff also made it clear that Labour had no intention of abandoning neoliberalism.

Of course we could never have expected Goff to bring out that pink flag Roger Douglas locked in the closet many years ago. Labour's commitment to socialism was always a sham and Goff made no bones about his rejection of 'the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange" as 'nineteenth century history'.

Since Labour has slavishly adhered to neoliberalism for over two decades, Goff's remarks were hardly a surprise.- except to people like Chris Trotter. Goff himself has been one of the more enthusiastic supporters of the free market.

How do the views of the 'new' Labour and the apologetic Phil Goff translate into something like the electricity market for instance?

Yesterday Meridian energy reported a $89 million profit and will pay a total of some $293 million to government.

This profit has been extracted from ordinary people struggling with steeply rising electricity bills.

At the recent Labour Party conference Goff said he was 'sorry' that Labour took big dividends from state-owned power companies and that 'it had failed to fix the system'.

Goff said a Labour Government would stop the price gouging and not demand excessive dividends from the power companies. Of course that's easy to say in opposition Phil - but you and Labour had nine years in government to do something but instead did exactly nothing.

Goff though doesn't say anything about dropping prices and he still expects the power companies to pay dividends - just not as much. So how much then, Phil?

What all this means is that he and Labour have no plans of overturn the failed neoliberal model. Goff, you see, thinks that '..a well-functioning market system is the most effective and efficient way of organising an economy". It seems to have escaped Phil's notice that global capitalism has fallen over in a screaming heap.

Let's compare Goff and Labour's hopeless response to the shambolic state of the power industry to that of the Alliance Party.

Alliance Party energy spokesperson Ian Tinkler recently told the Ministerial Review of Electricity Market Performance that the neoliberal model had not worked.

'This structure does not provide security of supply, and it increases the price paid by both households and businesses much faster than the general rate of inflation. What is more, it increases the price of power for households faster than it does for businesses,' Tinkler said.

The Alliance believes that to ensure ongoing secure supply, the Government should combine SOE generation assets into one ‘National Generator’, give this generator the responsibility to ensure there is enough electricity to meet future demands and provide it with the ability to source electricity from a wide range of sources including hydro, solar and wind to help meet this obligation.

While we can debate the merits of the Alliance's electricity policy it is a clear alternative to the neoliberal model.

It's no good Phil Goff saying that he's 'sorry' for excessive electricity prices while at the same time saying he's not going to abandon the neoliberal model that gave rise to the excessive power prices in the first place.


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