The Andrews Labor Government has cut funding for programs that help Victoria maintain a reliable and affordable energy system.
According to Budget Paper 3, the amount of money spent on programs listed under the ‘Energy’ output fell from $216.2 million in 2018-19 to $95.5 million in 2019-20 (p 198).
This represents a cut of $120.7 million or 56 per cent.
In the Government’s own words, the programs in this section of the budget relate to:
“The provision of reliable, sustainable and affordable energy services through state-based energy programs, including renewable energy development, energy efficiency and affordability improvements, and facilitation of new investment.”
So why have such essential programs been cut so brutally?
This is yet another sign that the Andrews Labor Government seems incapable of protecting household budgets by bringing down power prices.
It adds insult to injury for the many thousands suffering under increased costs during COVID-19.
Average yearly power bills have increased by over 20 per cent or $264 under 5 years of Daniel Andrews and Labor.
This year, over 485,000 Victorian families have had to suffer the indignity of being placed on hardship repayment plans for their electricity bills, with average debts of over $1,300.
Yet between 2018-19 and 2019-20 on the Government’s own figures, Daniel Andrews and Labor cut $120.7 million from energy programs. Programs designed, in their own words, to support ‘sustainable and affordable energy services’.
This makes no sense whatsoever.
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Energy, Ryan Smith:
“This year has been tough. Over 48,000 people have been on hardship repayment plans for their power bills. Yet the Andrews Labor Government cut $120.7 million from energy programs designed to keep those bills down.
“The Andrews Labor Government has slashed spending on programs it claims are designed to help support “affordable” energy when the cost of energy has gone up over 20 per cent on its watch.”