11th Jul 2011

The Carbon Tax: What’s in it for carers and people with disability

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What will you receive?
A one-off lump sum advance
Australian recipients of a Disability Support Pension or a Carer Payment will receive assistance in two ways.
Firstly, a separate Clean Energy Advance will be paid to pensioners. This will amount to $250 for a single pensioner or $190 for each eligible member of a couple.
This payment is designed to cover the costs passed on by those top-500 polluting companies to which the carbon tax will be applied from 1 July 2012. This supplement will cover costs from 1 July 2012 to 20 March 2013 when pension increases will be applied.

It is worth noting that these payments will automatically be implemented by Centrelink of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, you will not need to claim.

An ongoing increase in the pension
The second benefit is the increased pension rate as mentioned above. This assistance will be delivered as a new, permanent Clean Energy Supplement and will be paid in line with regular pension payments. This equates to an annual increase of up to $338 for a single pensioner and $255 for each eligible member of a couple. This payment will be indexed for CPI so it stays in line with general price increases and will be paid in addition to the existing Pension Supplement.

As with the advance, you do not have to apply for this increase, you will receive it automatically if your details are up-to-date
 
Additional payments
For those with higher energy bills due to a reliance on medical equipment, an Annual Essential Medical Equipment Payment of $140 can also be claimed. This will be paid through Centrelink of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and can be claimed by the recipient of the DSP or their carer if that is who incurs the cost.
To be eligible, you must meet the relevant medical criteria and hold a relevant concession card.

This payment must be claimed for and will not automatically be paid.

What extra costs can you expect?
Prices are expected to rise by about 0.7 per cent, starting July 1 2012. For those on a DSP, this means about $270 per year. This is to be covered by the $338 supplement (and advance for the first nine months).

Will you be better off?
If the treasury modelling is correct, and prices rise by 0.7 percent, with a supplement of 1.7 percent you should have an extra three or four dollars in your pocket each week, starting July 2012.
But there is one reason why this may not happen.
Most pensioner households spend a higher percentage of their income (2.6 per cent compared to 1.7 per cent for working families) on the things that will be affected the most – their power bills. So how much better of you will be really depends upon how much of your income goes on power.
What no government or financial modeller can predict is variables such as floods or drought and external economic factors, such as oil prices, wars and terrorist attacks, which all can have a huge affect on the prices of goods and services in Australia. The fact that the supplement is indexed for CPI should go some way toward nullifying major price hikes.

To find more about your individual situation, visit the Federal Government’s online estimator at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au.

Or ask us your question – as always, we are here to help.
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COMMENTS

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11th Jul 2011
6:13pm
Now that the tax is annouced what is to stop companies increasing their prices now in order to offset future cost. That could be 11 Months of price increases with no compensation.
And why do the goverment think the lower your income, the less the increase in cost will be. The percentage of my income spent heating/cooling my home and feeding myself is certainly more than someone who earns x times as much. I can't cut back on luxuries, I have none left to cut back on.
Of cause having the poor,sick and elderly die of cold, hunger or heatstroke is bound to reduce the countries carbon footprint (unless we all decide to be cremated).
Who knows maybe thats the long turn plan.
Kes
11th Jul 2011
9:28pm
Of course companies will offset the cost to us and then some - after all business is about profit and if they have to be government tax collectors why not make a bit on the way. There is nothing left to reserve for most of us without other means and personally it seems that by the time everyone adds a bit to offset there extras pensioners will be a lot worse off. My figures don't come out anywhere near as positively as yours
Kerry
maggie12
6th Nov 2011
7:17pm
what a crock , anyone who believes that pensioners will be better off must have rocks in their heads, this tax will make having a decent standard of life impossible, costs of of everything will rise not by 0.7 as those idiots in canberra want us to believe, it will much higher, does anyone truly believe that businees will not pass on higher costs? does anyone believe that petrol will not be included within 1 or 2 years, and then watch prices soar. and for what, this tax WILL not make any differance to climate change, if there is such a thing. the only hope this country has , is to make certain that come the next election that we vote out mr brown and his green fools, i do not blame gillard for this tax as she is just a puppet , with her strings being pulled by brown and those irresponsible independents. i really am angry about this whole issue. i am glad that my days on this earth are getting shorter but i really worry about the sort of country that my grandkids will have to live in.


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