Electricity price hikes in Queensland beyond a joke
THE huge hike in the cost of electricity, water and rates over the past few years is nothing short of criminal.
In Queensland, we have seen power prices soar by hundreds of dollars each year to the point where household quarterly bills can be as high as $1200 to $1500.
And it's not over.
Electricity prices will increase by 13.6% from July next year, increasing the average household bill by $192 a year.
Pensioners in this state are now turning off their lights and even the television at night because they fear their next bill.
Much of the extra money is going to pay for infrastructure for peak demand - so we can all have our air-conditioners on when it is sweltering.
And of course, some of it is going to pay overly generous solar rebates which have turned the lucky minority's homes into green cash cows.
Campbell Newman's government was elected on a platform to cut household expenses.
Clearly, so far they have failed.
Instead of spending so much time and energy on bikie laws, the government must start looking at the people who really count - average families struggling to meet the most basic of needs.
I know I am not alone in for the first time asking for time to pay off my power bill.
That two weeks of summer where we had really hot days was certainly reflected in our latest statement.
In recent years our power bill has doubled, if not tripled.
Water costs have gone up and for many, there are also extra rates to pay.
I wonder when our federal, state and local politicians will get the message that enough is enough.
We can't afford to keep paying more and more for things when basic wages are not increasing by the same degree.
Hands up who got a 14% pay rise last year - apart from politicians and bank CEOs?
If our politicians really want to fix the economy, they have to curb their own spending, and that of power companies, to ensure cost increases which can be met by ordinary families - and local businesses.
Otherwise, very few people will have extra money to spend at local shops, restaurants, cafes and tourist attractions.
The current formula is working well to ensure disposable income is next to nothing for many.
Mark Furler is group digital editor for APN Australian Regional Media. He has been a journalist on the the Sunshine Coast for more than 25 years.