Helen is one of many pensioners eagerly awaiting the Energy Assistance Payment and would like to know when she’ll receive the payment so she can turn on her heater.
Just a quick question, as I cannot find the information anywhere, but in the budget we were told people on pensions would get a one-off payment of $75 towards their energy bills. I have not heard any more about this. Can you tell me if it is still going to happen, and when and how will it be paid? I am struggling just a little bit with my payments and winter is coming on. This is not much help – about two months’ electricity for me – but every little bit helps.
A. The Energy Assistance Payment was the one 2019 Federal Budget measure guaranteed to pass. True to its word, the Government passed the legislation on this payment on 3 April.
The one-off payment of $75 for singles and $62.50 for each eligible member of a couple will be paid out no later than 30 June 2019.
So, if you receive an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment, you should receive your payment any time before 30 June.
And it’s no longer only pensioners who are eligible: the Energy Assistance Payment has also been extended to those receiving a Newstart allowance, Partner Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Veteran Payment and other types of payments. For a full list, head to www.humanservices.gov.au
You won’t have to do anything to get the payment. Payments will be made directly into your bank account.
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Australian, Energy Minister Angus Taylor has revealed the “big stick laws” – labelled as draconian by the big energy companies – would be a priority when parliament returned in early July.
The legislation, if passed, would compel energy companies to cut wholesale prices and guarantee supply. It was pulled after a failed attempt in March.
“I can tell you it is a parliamentary priority — it should be no surprise,” Mr Taylor said.
“It is our policy, we took it to the election, it has been through the party room and it has been introduced to parliament.
“This is a broad-ranging piece of legislation … the divestment powers are at the pointy end … but it is also about prohibitive actions, manipulation of wholesale markets, price gouging in the retail markets and derivatives market.”
Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said in Brisbane earlier in the week: “If it’s designed to break up energy companies, I don’t think that’s the way to go about achieving lower prices and better outcomes for customers. I don’t feel it serves customers well.”
Have you received your payment yet? Are you struggling with rising energy bills?
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