PENSIONER CONCESSIONS FOR COUNCIL RATES SHOULD BE DOUBLED SAYS MP

Friday, 9 February 2024

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has called on the State Government to act swiftly and increase the pensioner concessions for local council rates which have been fixed at a maximum of $250 for the past three decades.

Mr Marshall placed a motion on the notice paper in State Parliament this week, advocating for the region’s seniors and pensioners who are doing it tough, particularly during the cost-of-living crisis.

“There are enormous pressures on vulnerable members of our communities at the moment,” Mr Marshall said.

“Current pensioner concessions for local council rates have been fixed at a maximum of $250 for general rates and $87.50 for water and sewer charges for 31 years, since the Local Government Act 1993 was created.

“In the last three decades, council rates and charges have increased markedly, reducing the relative value of this concession, and placing further cost pressures on those who are vulnerable.

“The reality is $250 dollars in 2024 is hardly comparable to $250 in 1993 and the government needs to keep pace with the real value of money.”

Mr Marshall has called on the government to address this immediately by introducing legislation that will double the current pensioner concessions to $500 for general rates, and $175 for water and sewerage charges.

“I have also pushed for current pensioner concessions to be indexed annually, in line with annual rate increases, to ensure that as rates rise, the concession increases at the rate” he said.

“I hope the Minister for Local Government will listen to my concerns and I will be further pressing him about this matter in the coming months.

“We need to give our region’s seniors and pensioners a fairer go, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis.”

Mr Marshall’s motion in State Parliament this week:

I give notice that tomorrow I shall move that this House:

1. Notes the current cost of living crisis is putting unprecedented pressure on vulnerable members of our communities, especially seniors and pensioners;
2. Further notes that the current Pensioner concessions for local council rates have been fixed at a maximum of $250 for general rates and $87.50 for water and sewer charges for 31 years, since the Local Government Act 1993 was created;
3. Acknowledges that in the last three decades, council rates and charges have increased markedly, reducing the relative value of this concession and placing further cost pressures on pensioners; and
4. Calls on the government to address this immediately and introduce legislation to double the current concessions and index them in line with annual rate increases.

6 February 2024

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