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Key’s Commerce Commission threat cheats Kiwis

Wed 12 Dec 2012
FYI, this story is more than a year old

John Key is determined to ensure New Zealand broadband households’ bills are $12 higher a month.

That is according to Labour, who has criticised his threat to overturn the Commerce Commission if he doesn’t like it’s broadband rulings.

“The Commerce Commission’s draft ruling on broadband did not meet with the approval of John Key and Amy Adams," says Clare Curran, Labour's Communications and IT spokesperson.

"That’s because it proposed swinging cuts to Chorus charges that it’s estimated would reduce the average household’s bill by $12 a month.

“With so many families struggling under National’s failing economy any monthly saving provides real help. But National won’t even give them that.

“John Key today refused to rule out legislation to overturn the Commerce Commission if its final report recommends those cuts.

"He is treating the independent regulator and New Zealand families with disdain. And he’s put the interests of Chorus, the privately owned, Crown-backed ultrafast broadband network company above the interests of New Zealand consumers.

“John Key’s statements have created widespread horror and uncertainty for the Telco industry which is seeking stability of pricing and competitive environment which will ultimately lead to greater innovation, more services and cheaper prices for consumers.

“His intervention has been described as ‘unprecedented’ by the former Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson and prompted Standard & Poor’s to say that the final decision of the Commissioner will be ‘subject to significant political deliberation’.

“John Key and his ministers have a long record of dubious political interference but heavying an independent regulator into not making findings that help Kiwi families surely takes the cake.

"He opens himself up to legal action from other telcos. John Key should back off and let the Commerce Commission make a fair ruling.”

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