What the State Budget means for FiftyUps
Pleasingly, any references or imposts to older Australians were conspicuously absent from the document.
But does that mean FiftyUps in NSW came through the budget scot-free?
No, according to our latest Member Poll. We asked the question: Do you think State Governments should sell electricity assets?
A resounding 69% voted no, with 40% of you believing it’s a basic utility that should be owned by the state and the other 29% saying it would only lead to price increases.
Interestingly, 23% of you said yes but only if the money goes towards infrastructure.
In fairness to Premier Baird, he has stated all along that selling the “poles and wires” (or 49% of the state’s electricity assets) would fund major infrastructure projects, but millions will be spent on feasibility studies first.
Premier Baird says the sell off is the only way to fund these much needed and overdue infrastructure initiatives, and that it would help bring the price of electricity down.
You say otherwise. Clearly from our poll most of you do not trust privatisation and believe that it will eventually drive prices up. And that in turn will hurt older Australians, especially those on fixed incomes and pensions.
It’s a gutsy gamble by Mr. Baird. Of course Sydney commuters need a second harbor tunnel; and rail links in the north west and south west; and a motorway tunnel for the Northern Beaches.
But can he pull it off? Can you really build, build and build and still keep your promise that electricity prices will not go up.