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Consumers in the box seat as power pledges rain

A flurry of election pledges to reduce the cost of power for cash-strapped Victorians is being welcomed by the Victorian Council of Social Service.

The Coalition is promising to broker a ‘bulk buy’ power deal giving concession card holders a better deal, while Labor plans to abolish energy ‘standing offers’ and force power retailers to provide a fairer ‘default offer’.

Both parties claim their plan will bring down power bills for Victorians on low incomes and those experiencing hardship.

VCOSS CEO Emma King has welcomed the campaign focus on power bills.

“We’re excited by a political tussle over which party will do the most to get Victorians the best possible power deal.”

“Victoria has been the guinea pig of energy privatisation and the market has run wild.”

“Energy prices impact every Victorian household, but especially those facing hardship and disadvantage. This is exactly where our politicians’ focus should be as we head towards polling day.”

“Today’s announcements are also a timely acknowledgement from both major parties that the current system is broken, that power retailers have been running riot, and that action is needed.”


 
Both pledges have now been added to the comprehensive VCOSS Policy Tracker.

The below remarks are attributable to VCOSS CEO Emma King:

 

VCOSS on the Liberal plan:

“This is a very welcome move that should see a fair deal offered to job-seekers, age and disability pensioners, students and sole parents on low incomes.

“The Coalition has placed the right caveats on this deal: people won’t be hit with discriminatory pay-on-time discounts, late payment penalties and fees for paper billing.

“The concession deal will go out to tender. It’s time retailers stepped up to the mark to offer a great deal for Victorians doing it tough.

 

VCOSS on the Labor plan:

“This initiative should help put the retailers on notice and stop them price gouging.

“It will assist people who struggle to engage with this extremely complex market.

“Victorian energy retailers take a hefty cut of our bills—the largest of all the states and territories.

“A regulated default price will help stop retailers taking the mickey.