The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a 75,000+ member grassroots advocacy group representing Australia’s taxpayers, today agreed with shadow treasurer Chris Bowen's assessment of the government's ‘forced divestment’ laws in the energy sector, and called for PM Morrison to scrap the plans as they will deter investment and not deliver returns for electricity consumers.
"Energy companies should be held to account for anti-competitive behaviour, but forced divestment powers are an unnecessary over-reach that falls far outside any of the ACCC's recommendations, and will only increase prices for consumers by creating sovereign risk that deters investment." said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy.
"The government has rightly recognised the importance of encouraging investment in cheap and reliable power generation and must apply this same principle in its approach to regulating power companies.
"Using forced divestment as a 'big stick' is guaranteed to be a flaccid, counterproductive move guaranteed to fall flat at the ultimate expense of Australian families and businesses who already shoulder some of the world's highest electricity bills.
"We call on the government to instead stay within the ACCC's recommendations for policing anti-consumer and anti-competitive behaviour of energy companies. The ATA hopes that the government will reconsider this harmful policy suggestion and allow our existing consumer protection regulator to do its job in regulating the behaviour of Australian energy providers.”