Many people assume they will be worse off when the effect of a tax on carbon starts to hit the cost of living. The Government has devised a means of compensation, but just how much will you get?
Clean Energy Advance
Paid to pensioners, self-funded retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), recipients of Newstart Allowance and Carer Payment, the Clean Energy Advance is to cover cost of living increases from 1 July 2012 to March 2013. The Clean Energy Advance, a lump sum payment of $250 for singles and $190 for each eligible member of a couple, will already have been paid in most cases.
Clean Energy Supplement
This supplement is equivalent to a 1.7 per cent increase of the Age Pension rates and amounts to $338 for singles and $250 for each eligible member of a couple, per annum. It will be paid from March 2013 and will be included in regular fortnightly payments. Eligible self-funded retirees will receive payment quarterly, in arrears, from June 2013.
Essential Medical Assistance Payment
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 Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and can be claimed by the individual, or 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 and will not automatically be paid.
All taxpayers earning up to $80,000 will receive a tax cut. The tax-free threshold will move from $6000 to $18,200. The Low Income Tax Offset (LITO) is reduced to $445 and the Senior Australians Tax Offset (SATO) will also be modified, and renamed the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset. Further tax cuts will follow in 2015-16.
Low Income Supplement
If you do not meet the criteria for the Clean Energy Advance or Clean Energy Supplement, but find your cost of living has increased, you may be eligible to claim the Low Income Supplement of $300 per annum. This payment does have to be claimed annually, with the first claim accepted from 1 July 2012. There are certain criteria which must be met to be eligible such as income and residency requirements. For further information, read YOURLifeChoices article on Low Income Supplement.
For further information on what compensation may be available to you depending on your individual circumstances, you may wish to read the following PDFs.