Michelle Lensink

Water tax take flowing for Weatherill Government

As temperatures soar so does South Australians’ water use and the amount of money flowing out of households and businesses and into the Weatherill Government’s tax coffers.

"As temperatures soar so does South Australians’ water use and the amount of money flowing out of households and businesses and into the Weatherill Government’s tax coffers," said Shadow Minister for Water Michelle Lensink.

"Former Essential Services Commission of SA chief executive, Paul Kerin, belled the cat in his resignation letter revealing that the Weatherill Labor Government is using SA Water as a cash cow to prop up its ailing budget.

"Every time a South Australian turns on a tap the Weatherill Government is there siphoning off a substantial tax take.

"The latest CPI data confirms that over the past 12 years, water prices have risen by 236 per cent despite inflation only being 41 per cent during this time.

"This is why South Australians have the highest water bills in the nation and another example of the hopeless economic management of the Weatherill Labor Government.

"In his resignation letter, Mr Kerin noted that the Weatherill Labor Government and senior government bureaucrats have no interest in reform or in serving the long-term interests of consumers."

A damning ESCOSA report on the performance of SA Water released in April this year revealed that SA Water’s net profit after tax ratio was one of the highest of the capital city water utilities in 2012-13.

The total number of SA Water hardship customers (customers unable to pay their accounts due to financial difficulties) also increased from 1,445 in January 2012 to 3,618 by June 2013 – an increase of 150 per cent since the beginning of 2012.

"The Labor Government’s decision to double the size of the $2.2 billion desalination plant against independent advice has also driven up water prices and increased cost of living pressures.

"The reality is that increasing cost of living pressures are a by-product of a mismanaged economy."

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