Energy rebates for pensioners and vulnerable Queenslanders
Vulnerable Queensland families and pensioners will receive welcome help to deal with cost of living pressures from today, with the Queensland Government delivering on a key election promise.
Energy Minister Mark McArdle and Communities Minister Tracy Davis said the State Government was increasing a range of concessions and rebates worth hundreds of dollars to help with electricity and gas bills.
Mr McArdle said the increases honoured a State Government promise made earlier this month, to make-up the shortfall left by the Federal Government’s cuts to pensioner concessions in the May budget.
“The Queensland Government promised to lower the cost of living wherever we could and we’re making sure that pensioners and other vulnerable Queenslanders get some relief on household costs,” Mr McArdle said.
Mr McArdle said to support older and vulnerable Queenslanders, the state Government was allocating $164.6 million in 2014-15 for energy rebates and concessions – over $25 million more than last year.
Queensland pensioners and seniors will be able to apply for an electricity rebate of $320.97 a year – an increase of $38.43.
The reticulated natural gas rebate will increase by $2.03 to $67.61.
Ms Davis said pensioners and older Queenslanders had made it clear they couldn’t wear the cost of filling the gap between Queensland’s increased contribution, and the Commonwealth’s cuts.
“The Queensland Government has listened to their concerns and acted quickly to cover the loss of Canberra’s contribution,” she said.
Ms Davis said the Queensland Government had also boosted concessions for Queenslanders living with serious medical conditions.
The Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme will increase by $38.43 to $320.97, while the Electricity Life Support Concession Scheme will rise as high as $653.70 per year for oxygen concentrators and $437.77 per year for kidney dialysis.
In addition, up to $720 a year in emergency payments will continue to be available for low income households under the $10 million Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme.
The state government is also maintaining the $120 annual subsidy under the South East Queensland Pensioner Water Subsidy Scheme.
Further information on these schemes is available at http://www.qld.gov.au/community/cost-of-living-support/electricity-gas-rebates/