Peter Malinauskas breaks key election promise with Labor’s water bill hike

Peter Malinauskas breaks key election promise with Labor’s water bill hike

Posted on: 28 June 2024

Peter Malinauskas has broken a major election promise that there will be “no new taxes, no tax increases”, with confirmation this week that SA Water bills are set to soar for South Australian households and businesses.

From July 1, water bills will rise 3.5 per cent above inflation every year for the next four years, meaning South Australian households will be on average $85 a year worse off and small businesses will be charged on average an extra $348 a year.

Labor’s hike in water bills comes at a time when South Australians can least afford it – with the typical family already more than $20,000 worse off per year since Peter Malinauskas was elected and many small businesses struggling to survive.

The former Liberal Government slashed water bills by more than $200 on average for households and approximately $1,350 for small businesses, to reverse years of the former Labor Government using SA Water as a cash cow and artificially inflating prices.

Leader of the Opposition, David Speirs, said Peter Malinauskas raising water bills above the rate of inflation is a devious tax hike that he’s trying to disguise as a necessity.

“If it looks like a tax, and sounds like a tax, and smells like a tax, it is a tax – and this hike in water bills from Labor is a huge broken promise by Peter Malinauskas,” Mr Speirs said.

“Before the election, Peter Malinauskas promised South Australians no new taxes and no tax increases – now he’s reaching into the pockets of struggling families, taxing them more to pay for his budget mismanagement.

“Peter Malinauskas is trying to spin this increase in bills as a necessity to pay for water infrastructure, but the reality is he could have used the unexpected $9 billion in record revenue he’s received to support these upgrades.

“Instead of curbing his wasteful spending, Peter Malinauskas has chosen to squeeze even more money out of hardworking South Australians during a cost of living crisis.”

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said Peter Malinauskas should be working harder on curbing his overspending instead of slugging South Australian families by hiking water bills.

“Peter Malinauskas is trying to spin this as a fair and equitable solution, when it’s anything but,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Those who are trying to enter the housing market are set to get slugged three times by Labor’s shared cost model – through a rise in their water bills, through their taxes, and through charges developers will pass onto home buyers.

“Peter Malinauskas’ housing thought bubble makes it harder for those wanting to buy their own home and the hike in water bills is a big broken promise from him and his Labor Government.”