Cost of Living Relief Needed for NSW Families

NSW Labor is calling on Dominic Perrottet to consider immediate and serious cost of living relief after analysis revealed that the Perrottet Government is currently underspending on its “Cost of Living” programs by almost $1.7 billion.
Under the NSW Liberals the cost of living has continued to skyrocket with massive increases in energy bills on the way for the people of New South Wales.
From 1 July, some NSW residential customers will pay up to 18 per cent or $369 more each year, while small businesses will pay 20 per cent or $1,130 more. The highest price rises will be seen across Western Sydney, whose residents already pay the highest energy bills as well as steep rises in the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.
In comparison to every other state and territory across the country, NSW currently offers the least support for energy bills to low-income households.

What is clear is that the current rebate scheme is not working – at least $265 million in eligible energy rebates remained unclaimed last year.
The average take-up of government energy rebates is 51 per cent, with some as low as 11 per cent.
Additionally, Dine and Discover vouchers, and small business fees and charges rebates, will expire in less than two weeks, with hundreds of millions still to go out the door.
Dominic Perrottet must guarantee this money won’t be used by the Government to bolster its budget bottom line – this is money that should be redirected as promised to help people pay their energy bills.

There are two simple solutions the government could implement right now when it is most urgently needed – before the budget, and before these programs expire at the end of June:

  • Allow small business and not-for-profits to use the available small business fees and charges rebate for their energy bills – which would be enough to give every small business in NSW $400 off their energy bills.
  • Open the remaining Dine and Discover funds to energy bill relief for households – which would be enough to give every single household in NSW $110 off their energy bills.

These would be targeted and immediate solutions to a cost of living crunch that Dominic Perrottet has allowed to occur under his government.

Chris Minns, NSW Labor leader said:Cost of living is quickly becoming the number one issue in New South Wales – the cost of everything is through the roof in New South Wales and people simply can’t afford it.
“With key measures due to expire in coming weeks, Dominic Perrottet must urgently look at ways to provide serious and immediate cost of living relief – and make sure the money actually gets out the door.

“The Government needs to look at it’s chronic underspend of programs and redirect the money to cost of living relief – it’s a common sense idea. Daniel Mookhey, Shadow Treasurer said:

“Dominic Perrottet has built his budget on the back of chronically underspending programs. It’s one thing to get a big announcement, but it means nothing if the money never gets out the door.

“At a time when cost of living pressures are at record highs, and energy bills are spiking, these programs should be fully paid out – instead the money sits in government coffers”
“Every dollar Dominic Perrottet holds on to is a dollar not going to help struggling families or small businesses” 
Jihad Dib, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change said:
“People are struggling on so many levels with the surging cost of living pressures and we must ensure that wherever possible, we do whatever we can to ease these pressures. 
“These practical measures will make an enormous difference in lessening the surge of energy costs for families and businesses who will continue to do it tough.
“With the cold weather afoot, we don’t want anyone to have to make a choice between being warm and unable to do so because of unaffordable energy costs 

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