An economist says any household bill relief promised by Queensland’s government will be wiped out within a year.
Queenslanders will likely see promised power bill relief wiped out within a year, an economist warns.
The Newman government wants to lease the state’s power network – including generators, distributors and transmission firms – to the private sector for at least 50 years in return for $37 billion.
The government says it will then cut household power bills by fully funding the $3.4 billion cost of the previous Labor government’s Solar Bonus scheme until 2028.
The government claims the average household will save about $577 per year, or $28 per month, for the next five years.
But Queensland University of Technology’s Dr David Willis says any bill relief will likely be wiped out within the first year because there won’t be a monopoly and companies will be chasing profits.
“Why is the state government offering a $3.4 billion fund from the lease of taxpayers’ assets to discount electricity bills if they are so sure that offloading the electricity assets will not create a monopoly and hence prices will rise further,” Dr Willis asked in a statement.
“This very modest family discount does not stop the new power company from increasing prices as it searches for profit for its new shareholders.
“Therefore, the $5 a week will be wiped out in the first year’s price increase.”