Labor puts ‘assets merge’ on the table

REGIONAL power prices will remain subsidised under a Labor government while assets will be merged rather than privatised.

Launching the Labor Party's economic plan, Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt committed to keeping the universal tariff policy that keeps regional power prices in line with metropolitan prices and ruled out new or increased taxes.

"This will mean that electricity remains affordable in remote and regional areas and will be guaranteed because the assets are in public hands," Mr Pitt said.

He said if the LNP's privatisation plan came into being, the universal tariff policy could not be guaranteed in the long term.

Mr Pitt said a Labor government would keep, but merge, government-owned corporations. Energex, Powerlink and Ergon would become a single company as would CS Energy and Stanwell.

Mr Pitt said the $2 billion of yearly revenue the assets provided would be lost if they were sold. He said LNP Treasurer Tim Nicholls had not addressed how that money would be replaced.

Under the ALP plan two thirds of the revenue would pay down government debt.

The Labor Party and LNP disagree on how to calculate debt because the LNP includes government-owned corporations' debt, unlike Labor and every other state government.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls dismissed the Labor policy, dubbing it "voodoo economics". He said an LNP government would continue to subsidise regional electricity prices after privatisation.

Labor's plan

  •  Use government corporations' revenue to pay down debt.
  •  Merge corporations to cut administration costs.
  •  Continue the universal tariff policy.
  •  Use a debt action plan to pay down $5.4 billion of debt in six years.

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