The Queensland State Government say they will commit more than $5.5 billion in the 2018/19 State Budget to relieve cost of living pressures
The budget which was brought down on June 12 is a $200 million increase on the 2016/2017 budget – slightly more than $1000 more for every Queenslander.
Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Government was investing a record $312 million to fund a range of energy rebates and concessions, of which, $212 million is to specifically assist vulnerable Queenslanders as well as a $100 million Electricity Asset Ownership Dividend which they say will be provided to all households.
This includes $195.5 million to deliver the electricity rebate to eligible seniors, pensioners, veterans and low-income families. The electricity rebate provides assistance of up to approximately $341 per year towards electricity costs.
Rebates and concessions can be claimed by visiting the Queensland Government’s Smart Savings website.
Since its launch in June 2017, more than 135,000 Queenslander have used this money-saving directory site to browse Government rebates across 17 categories including gas rebates for pensioners, health-care card holders and seniors, textbook and resource allowances for secondary students and travel/accommodation subsidies for apprentices.
THE TOP TEN KEY CONCESSIONS:
- Electricity Rebate Scheme helps Queensland pensioners Health Care Card holders and seniors pay their electricity bill with a rebate of up to approximately $341 per year.
- Vehicle and Boat Registration Concessions reduces the cost of vehicle and boat registration fees for seniors and pensioners.
- School Transport Assistance Scheme helps eligible families that do not have a school in their local area, or who are from defined low-income groups with school travel costs.
- Oral Health Scheme provides free dental care to eligible Queenslanders and their dependents.
- Vocational Education and Training – Certificate 3 Guarantee helps eligible Queenslanders get their first post-school Certificate III qualification to improve their job prospects by subsiding tuition fees.
- Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme provides financial assistance to patients who need to access specialist medical services not available within their local area. It provides a subsidy towards the cost of travel and accommodation for patients and, in some cases, an approved escort.
- Vocational Education and Training – Higher Level Skills Tuition Fee Subsidy subsidises the cost of tuition fees paid by students undertaking a priority Certificate IV, diploma or advanced diploma or industry endorsed skill set.
- Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme offers a 20% subsidy, up to a maximum of $200 per year, to lessen the impact of local government rates and charges on pensioners, thereby assisting them to continue to live in their own homes.
- School Transport Allowance for Students with Disabilities assists families of students with disabilities with transport to attend state school programs.
- Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme provides funding assistance to eligible people for a range of aids and equipment, like mobility aids, artificial limbs or vehicle modifications, to help them live at home and avoid premature or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation.
LESSER KNOWN CONCESSIONS AND LOANS
- Rental Bond Loans provides interest-free rental bond loans, equivalent to a maximum amount of four weeks rent, for people who cannot afford to pay a full bond to move into private rental accommodation.
- Spectacle Supply Scheme provides eligible Queensland residents with a pair of basic prescription spectacles, once every two years.
- Home Assist Secure helps eligible people over 60, or those with a disability, with assistance to remain living in their home, either owned or rented. Free safety related information and referrals are available, plus subsidised assistance to pay for critical maintenance services.