Sneaky cuts will cost

The removal of commonwealth funding in the Federal Budget for certain concessions could hit pensioner pockets hard, but as yet details on what will be cut are scant.

The removal of this funding from 2017 has slipped through largely unnoticed, due in the main to it being overshadowed by the greater issues of health and education funding cuts under the National Partnership Agreement.

One concession which will go is the reciprocal transport concessions, which are fully Federal Government funded, but to what level the states can fund remaining concessions to state transport, vehicle registration, utilities, rates, water, etc, has yet to be determined by each state government. States which are under extreme financial pressure may simply remove all funding for such concessions, while others may reduce funding or continue as is.

A second budget measure which has also gone large unreported is the cessation of indexation to the Clean Energy Supplement, which will simply be called the Energy Supplement from 1 July 2014. Although this supplement doesn’t rise much when pension indexation occurs, every little bit helps. The rate of payment will be fixed as at 1 July 2014, which will be $13.90 for singles and $10.50 for each eligible member of a couple.

Written by Debbie McTaggart