Power bills spark pledge from MP McArdle to aid needy

Mark McArdle
Mark McArdle Warren Lynam

ENERGY minister Mark McArdle has pledged to fight to keep electricity prices down, following reports Warwick pensioners are relinquishing food and other basics to pay rising electricity bills.

Mr McArdle said the government had already implemented several initiatives to reduce the cost of living for Queensland families and would be looking at other ways to assist those in need.

"The Newman Government is aware that current electricity concessions are not properly targeted and has raised the issue with key stakeholders such as Queensland Council of Social Service and is presently reviewing them," he said.

Electricity prices are set to rise in July this year and Mr McArdle said it was important to remember only 25% of the annual bill related to producing energy.

"The balance is due to the cost of poles and wires and avoidable public policy including green schemes, the Carbon Tax and the Solar Bonus Scheme," he said.

"There are also a number of concessionary measures offered by the Queensland Government to assist people with the cost of electricity, including the Electricity rebate, the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme, the Electricity Life Support Concession and the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession."

One Warwick pensioner said although she thought power prices were too high and supported plans for heftier rebates for pensioners; it was time for people to take some responsibility for their own situations.

"I do think pensioners should get a bigger discount or not have to cover the increase but I don't agree that people should be going without food," she said.

"I pay $30 a fortnight on my bill and I'm running a credit, I'm going to have to cut it back. The same with my phone bill," she said.

"Some people need to learn to manage their money."

The aged pensioner said she had savings but did not need to use them as she budgeted wisely and didn't overspend.


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Topics:  cost of living electricity mark mcardle pensioners power bill seniors

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