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Cost of living skyrockets in Murray

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray

Tuesday 29 Jan 2013

Cost of living skyrockets in Murray

According to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), electricity costs have increased 89.3% since 2007. Federal Member for Murray Dr Sharman Stone says local businesses as well as families are feeling the pinch.

“The ABS has found that the Carbon tax is responsible for a 15.2% increase in electricity bills, although many local businesses have discovered the rise has been much steeper” Sharman Stone said.

“Geoffrey Thompson Holdings and Radevski Coolstores in Shepparton, Mulcahy Farms at Kyabram and Tongala and Gunbower Dairy Farmers Michael and Melissa Farrant all had carbon charges on their first few electricity bills that added more than 15% to the cost.

“Geoffrey Thompson Holdings calculated that in monetary terms, if the carbon charges remained the same, it would cost them an extra $260,000 annually. The bad news is the Carbon Tax is going up, and will continue to.

“It’s no wonder that the Essential Services Commission found last financial year that there was a 33% jump in the number of Victorians having their power cut off because they could not pay their bills. They also found there was a 50% spike in the number of Victorians getting their gas turned off for the same reason.

“ABS figures show gas has gone up 60.2% since the 2007 Federal Election. Water and sewerage has also increased 64% in the same time period.

“The costs of essentials are skyrocketing. The ABS reveals utilities have risen 76.7% during the last 5 years, insurance has jumped 42.6%, medical and hospital services 38% and education 31.2%.

“It is no wonder our low income families, self funded retirees and pensioners are really doing it tough” Dr Stone said.

Media enquiries, Graham Munson: 0417 148 110.