Cost of Living

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.

Read CPSA's full cost of living policy here.


Rent ‘holiday’ for NSW housing tenants

SINGLE pensioners in NSW public and community housing will not have to pay a quarter of their pension increase in rents, at least for one year that is.

The NSW Government announced that it would give tenants a rent ‘holiday’ until 20 September 2010. From that date, single pensioners will have their $60 per fortnight increase to the base rate of the pension included in assessing rent. This means that their rent will increase by $15 per fortnight.

Read more: Rent ‘holiday’ for NSW housing tenants

Q&A

Q: What will happen with my public or community housing rent once the pension increase comes into effect?

A: The PM wrote to the heads of states and territories requesting that they quarantine the pension increase of public and community housing tenants.

Read more: Q&A

Water rebates: have your say!

THE NSW Government is carrying out a review of water rebates and it’s now your chance to let them know what you want the water rebate to be.

Following pressure from lobby groups, the Minister for Water, The Hon. Phillip Costa, ordered a review to take place.

It came about as it became clear that pensioners across NSW are treated very differently – all depending on where they live.

For instance, a pensioner in Sydney is probably about $140 a year better off than a pensioner living in rural or regional NSW, because of the Sydney Water Pensioner rebate.

Read more: Water rebates: have your say!

Removal of rate pegging leaves pensioners exposed to rate hikes

THE Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has proposed that ‘good performing’ Councils should have rate pegging removed for up to four years. (Rate pegging is a cap on the amount of revenue a Council can acquire for the year – i.e., the amount of rates a Council can charge.)

Read more: Removal of rate pegging leaves pensioners exposed to rate hikes

Looking for ways to reduce your utilities bills?

THERE ARE many rebates and concessions available to NSW residents so that they can reduce their energy and water consumption and, therefore, their bills.

Many appliances are also very energy or water efficient, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars over their lifetime.

Read more: Looking for ways to reduce your utilities bills?