Killing Us Softly, Not with a Song, but Inflation By James Reed

Supposedly the reason behind the astronomical rise in the power bills, is that the whole sale price of gas and coal has more than doubled. Well, does that mean that the ever-greedy power companies are justified in doubling the power bill costs? Does it directly translate like that, or are they getting an extra slice why carving away at our hearts? Anyway, I am getting the power turned off. After all, the power was off today between 8 am and 3 pm, and my meat has to be cooked now having an odd smell, starting to go off. Thus, it will be tin food and candles, as long as I can afford that. Then pet food, and dumpster diving like so many here in Melbourne will be doing. I imagine that there will be fights at the bins over “quality garbage,’ as in Venezuela:

“Millions of Australian families and businesses face power bill nightmares in days, with energy costs set to double as living costs continue to spiral upwards.

Consumers have received 'frightening' letters from their power companies in recent days warning usage costs will jump in some cases as much as $1,200 a year for an average three-to-four person household.

The power cost hikes are the latest devastating blow to households struggling to cope with the cost of living after first petrol prices, and then grocery bills began to surge.

The warning letters explained that the price of power for consumers would rise between 58 per cent and 100 per cent - up to $1,200 for average three-to-four person households in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.

Joel Gibson of One Big Switch called the expected rises 'a frightening start to the price rise season'.

'Over the next three weeks, I'd expect every household to get a letter from retailer saying what they're doing with their prices,' he said.

The reason for checking the mail before the price rises hit is that householders can shop around for cheaper prices.

The price hikes detailed so far have come from four lesser-known energy companies, national retailers Discover, Mojo and ReAmped and one Queensland-only provider, LPE.

Discover told customers some peak rates in NSW would rise by 80 per cent and 95 per cent in South Australia. 

The company's off peak and shoulder rates will go up 130 per cent in NSW.

LPE said it would raise useage rates by up to 100 per cent and even warned Queenslanders to switch to the government-backed Ergon Energy.

Consumer advocates warned householders they must keep an eye out for letters from their power companies between now and mid-June.

The providers must warn consumers at least two weeks ahead of price rises.

All power retailers are expected to raise their prices. 

Nervous consumer advocates are now waiting to hear what customers of the 'big-three' power companies - Origin Energy, AGL and EnergyAustralia - will cop.

Between them the big three of power over nine million households and businesses. 

Power prices are surging because of soaring wholesale prices, which have risen by an average of 141 per cent across Australia in the past year.

Queensland was worse hit with wholesale power prices rising 285 per cent. 

The cost of black coal and gas, which have more than doubled, are behind the increases. Queensland has a greater reliance on black coal than other states.”

Mariam Gabaji, financial comparison website Finder's energy expert, had bad news for consumers.

'Energy prices are expected to skyrocket,' she said.

South Australia has the nation's most expensive average quarterly electricity bill of $383.30 followed by New South Wales ($353.80), Victoria ($319.50), Queensland ($312.70) and Western Australia ($254.40), Finder consumer tracker data for May 2022 showed.

Australians' grocery bills have doubled as inflation surges at the fastest pace in two decades and actual inflation could be much worse than what the official figures say.  

A small shop that used to cost just $40 is now typically adding up to $100, with the Reserve Bank expecting inflation to accelerate even more by Christmas.

A leading consumer group audit of supermarket prices found some items had doubled during the past year, with a prices for a popular soft drink soaring by 94 per cent.

The first interest rate rise in more than a decade is squeezing household budgets, with borrowers paying off a typical $600,000 mortgage facing a $700 surge in their monthly mortgage repayments within a year.”






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Thursday, 18 July 2024

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