How many of you have opened your power bill and received a huge shock when you read the ‘amount due’ section?
Like me, many Australians have and the recent posturing by new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, promising to lower electricity bills if re-elected in 2019, does not ring true.
Excuse me for being cynical.
If politicians from both major parties had been similarly concerned about this ten years ago, we may already have lower power bills.
If Kevin Rudd was braver and not given in to Tony Abbott’s shameful fear campaign, cheap talk from the new Prime Minister might not be warranted.
But that’s history.
Now Scott Morrison is threatening a royal commission into electricity.
The energy industry says a royal commission into electricity would be costly and if it were necessary the consumer watchdog would have already recommended it.
The government is considering an inquiry into the electricity sector, similar to the banking royal commission, in an attempt to drive down high power prices and reform the industry.
But our new PM was one of the loudest critics of a banking royal commission; he had to be brought kicking and screaming to change his mind, he labelled calls for a banking royal commission a “populist whinge”.
Now, when the Liberal Party are on the nose, he suddenly thinks an investigation into power prices is a good idea. The Prime Minister said if power companies were not responsive to the "big stick" approach, then "I'm prepared to take what action is necessary", including a royal commission.
But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has already recommended measures such as forcing companies to offer customers low-price default contracts and the federal government did not listen. Whether a royal commission goes ahead or not our politicians should get rid of anti-competitive shenanigans from the power sector now, no amount of election campaign posturing will matter if that necessary move is not made.
Mr Morrison will be hoping voters don’t receive a power bill just before election day because they might just remember his mob have been in power for two terms and done nothing to end power bill shock. Now is a good time to start Mr Morrison.