Farmers unhappy about lower power prices?

Mike Smith at The Standard asks: Farmers unhappy about lower power prices? and comments:

Former banker Bruce Wills and current head of Federated Farmers has joined the chorus attacking NZPower. He invokes how horrible  life was before 1984, as thought this had something to do with NZPower. You can read the full list of his horrors here.

He wonders:

It would be interesting to know if real farmers would rather have lower power prices, or banker Bruce as their spokesman.

I’m not so sure that this latest addition to the NZPower naysayers chorus has much in the way of real arguments. His reaction seems more based on specious history and knee-jerk ideology.

There was a quick reply from a farmer, ‘Jimmie’:

I’m a farmer and let me think:

If the Lab/Greens get in well lets see what the net benefit of their combined policies would be in relation to power bills:

– NZ Power = -$300 p/a (maybe)

ETS increase = + how much??
Petrol tax increase = + how much??
Income tax increase = + how much??
Interest rate increase = + how much??
RMA red tape cost increase = + how much??
Capital Value lost through CGT = + how much??
Land Use restrictions = + how much??

Hmmmm I wonder which option I would rather go with the status quo or the watermelon nightmare?

‘Karol’ responds:

Oh, so increases for the better off people, but ignoring that a lot of your list will have little impact on those who are, right now, struggling to pay their power bills. The latter people will be better off with lower power prices.

Such things as NZ power, and any other changes to taxes, will be a correction after the tax cuts for the wealthy in recent years, which have been at the expense of the less well off.

And Jimmie again:

Well then maybe the Lab/Greens should have been honest then.

Instead of bleating on at a press conference about reducing everyone’s power bill by an average of $300 they should have said rich pricks are gona pay more and poor folks will pay less.

(Though why you think that poor folks don’t buy petrol or that the ETS increase will somehow be aimed only at rich pricks beats me)

NZ Power was a ill-thought out and dishonest attempt to interfere with the MRP float – it may have given a vague short term boost to the far left morale but how will it be read by the general public – many of whom are in the process of buying the MRP shares.

NZ Power might end up being Shearer’s ‘show us the money’ moment and also the moment when the MSM decide that the Green’s economic policies require a fair bit more scrutiny.

There has been a few fairly muted follow-up comments.

The Standard seems to be getting a second wind on promoting NZ Power (or more accurately, fighting back against opposition to it), ‘Eddie’ has also posted – Why Doug Heffernan wants you to keep paying too much for power:

NZ Power is a direct threat to the health of Heffernan’s bank accounts. It will cut Mighty River’s profits by about two-thirds – with a similar effect on the share price. It will mean that its directors will have to cut their clothe, and their over-blown executive pay packets.

So, no wonder Heffernan, the most highly paid public ‘servant’ of all time, took the extraordinary and unconstitutional step of commenting on political parties’ policies. He called NZ Power ‘socialist‘ (as if that’s a bad thing) because it means lower power bills for you and me, which means less pay and lower share values for him.

Remember, when Doug Heffernan pops up to say that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for you to pay less for power that he has made millions off the current broken system and stands to make millions more if we stick with National’s broken system. Doug Heffernan’s bank accounts will be a lot more healthier if you keep on paying too much.

That continues the rich prick envy versus poor people paying too much for power lines favoured by the left of Labour.

This has become a battle between narrow ideology and wider economics.

Mike Smith works in David Shearer’s office.
‘Eddie’ is a Labour Party activist pseudonym.

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