Western Australian Local Government Minister John Castrilli has rejected claims that increases to electricity prices would result in a rate hike of as much as five per cent for Western Australian households, saying that opposition claims are 'totally unsubstantiated'.


Mr Castrilli has said that councils will have to bear the brunt of the utility hikes, saying that it is one of the expenses that local governments are obliged to budget for.


“They determine what their needs are and what their expenditure should be based on what their communities can afford,” Mr Castralli said.


“Each local government has decisions to make on discretionary expenditure and on developing alternative sources of revenue to rates."


“When local government budgets were released for 2010-11, an analysis of the figures showed that for a sample of three metropolitan city councils and one regional city, utility increases, expressed as a percentage of total expenditure, increased on average by less than four per cent for each of those years,” he said.