Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney has welcomed the State Government’s announcement that it has now made a final determination and approved the capped limits for eligible pensioners in respect of local government rates and water rates concessions, to apply for the 2016-17 rating year.
“I’m very pleased the Government has listened to the concerns of Western Australia’s seniors and raised the local government rates cap to $750, an increase on the previously announced amount of $550, effective 1 July 2016,” said Mr Blayney.
“The State Government offers a generous range of additional concessions and rebates, including the seniors Cost of Living Rebate, the Energy Assistance payment and importantly the Aged Pension Fuel Card.
“Western Australia has the most generous rates concessions in the nation. In 2015-16 across Australia the average value of Local Government Rates concessions for seniors and pensioners is $230. The average value of Water Service concessions across the States, with the exception of New South Wales, is around $250,” Mr Blayney said.
The State Government will provide an estimated $2.6 billion in social concessions in 2015-16 in the form of rebates, discounts, subsidies and direct payments to improve the affordability of services and help reduce the cost of living for individuals and families.
In the 2015-16 Budget the Government announced its intentions to introduce a number of reforms to social concessions to better target assistance to those most in need. The introduction of a dollar cap to the rebates was one of the reforms.
The State Government is now working to increase the range of Seniors Card rewards, this March releasing an Expression of Interest call for the private sector to put forward an innovative model to broaden Seniors Card benefits.