For immediate release
Feb. 10, 2020
Rate management plan “underwhelming,” leaves many unanswered questions
NDP Leader Alison Coffin says the provincial and federal Liberals managed to have a big announcement on rate mitigation without answering the one question the people of NL want to know: “How much will I have to pay?”
“On one hand, we have the Premier touting a long-term solution, and on the other hand, we have the federal minister delighted to announce they’re ‘launching negotiations’ and have some short-term solutions,” said Coffin.
“It seems like Premier Ball and Minister O’Regan have contradictory understandings – the plan they announced appears to be no more than a commitment to negotiate with the federal government.”
Coffin says the plan is low on specifics and high on optimism.
“While they’ve promised rates would start at 13.5 cents per kWh for the first year, they also warned that rates could increase by 2.25% or more per year after that,” said Coffin.
“Their promise guarantees a rate for the first year only and they’re quick to point out that only the PUB can set rates. This puts a lot of decision making responsibility on the PUB and kicks it down the road. The PUB are regulators, not magicians,” Coffin said.
“They’ve dropped in words like ‘electrification’ and ‘decarbonization’ with no numbers, timelines, or specifics,” said Coffin.
Coffin says today’s announcement feels far from what government has referred to as “a sustainable, long-term solution.”
“What will this mean for electricity rates for people on fixed incomes? What happens to 13.5 cents per kWh down the road? These are the urgent questions the people of the province need clarity and reassurance about,” said Coffin.
“Today, they still have neither.”
For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org.