Labor is calling on the government to use its latest cash grab from government business enterprises to fund winter energy relief for struggling Tasmanians.
Shadow Energy Minister David O’Byrne said while the government has finally announced relief for businesses in multi-tenanted properties, it is not doing enough for thousands of other Tasmanians facing financial stress.
“With more than 20,000 Tasmanians losing their jobs and tens of thousands of people staying home more because of COVID-19, this is clearly being reflected now in increased household power bills,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“These are ordinary Tasmanians who have done the right thing and stayed home during three months of lockdowns, only to be hit with higher bills when they can least afford it.
“The shock from power bills is putting a massive strain on family budgets, on top of the hardship they have already suffered through job losses and reduced hours.
“And yet, this government repeatedly dismisses Labor’s calls for a winter energy supplement similar to the cheques it sent out shortly before the 2018 election.
“In last week’s Preliminary Outcomes Report it was revealed that the government is ripping a further $40 million out of Hydro Tasmania and TasNetworks in yet another blatant dividend grab.
“The government must use at least some of this money to provide a winter energy supplement to struggling households.
“The Premier’s own Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council has flagged concerns about the capacity of vulnerable Tasmanians to pay for heating during these cold winter months. It’s time the government stepped up and provided them with immediate relief.”
David O’Byrne MP
Shadow Energy Minister