O’Farrell accused of ‘grab’ at pensioner carbon rebate

“This difficult but responsible decision will help us to deliver vital maintenance to social housing properties” … Community Services Minister, Pru Goward.THE federal government has accused the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, of a ”cash grab” after the announcement his government will take a cut of carbon tax rebates paid to pensioners by increasing public housing rents.
Nanjing Night Net

The Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, said that from March the government would include the rebates when setting social housing rents, which are calculated at 25 per cent to 30 per cent of tenants’ income.

The federal government and state opposition attacked the move, saying the rebates were to help single parents, veterans, the elderly and disabled people cope with rising electricity bills and should not be considered general income.

Single pensioners will receive about $338 a year extra, and couples will receive about $510. The increase will be included in payments from March.

Ms Goward said most tenants would pay an extra dollar or two a week rent and the money would go towards making up the 1.7 per cent increase in property costs resulting from the carbon tax.

”This difficult but responsible decision will help us to deliver vital maintenance to social housing properties and to provide much-needed new properties for the most vulnerable members of our community,” she said.

The federal government labelled the move a ”cash grab” and said the carbon tax would have far less impact on housing repairs than Ms Goward claimed – just 0.6 per cent.

The opposition housing spokesman, Adam Searle, said the decision was a case of the Commonwealth extending assistance and the state government taking it back.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.