Quality of life is directly affected by an individual's ability to access essential goods and services in an affordable manner. Increases to the costs of essentials such as energy, water, communications and food have a disproportionately negative impact on pensioners and other low-income households as a greater proportion of their income is consumed in meeting these costs.
THE Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is looking into the options available to NSW Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) customers when this scheme closes on 31 December 2016.
The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme has been closed to new entrants for some time. For the 146,000 households participating in the Solar Bonus Scheme the time has come to plan for beyond 31 December 2016, which is when the Solar Bonus Scheme ends.
AS the asset test parameters for the Age Pension and other payments will change on 1 January 2017, a reported 235,000 part pensioners will have their current pension reduced and 91,000 pensioners will no longer qualify for a pension. Those pensioners that drop off will be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
THE NSW Government has asked the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review council rates. The review is not about how much they should be, but is a more fundamental review. This comes at a time that the NSW Government has moved to amalgamate councils.