Electricity prices highlight need for concession review
A review of electricity concessions for disadvantaged Queenslanders is more important than ever following today’s announcement of new tariffs, says Queensland Council of Social Service CEO Mark Henley. The new electricity tariffs come into effect from 1 July.
“The government is sticking with its election promise to freeze Tariff 11 for a year, however substantial increases in the off-peak tariffs for things like hot water systems (30.5 per cent for Tariff 31 and 25.5 per cent for Tariff 33) will make these tariffs less attractive to consumers,” says Mark.
“We need to ensure those hardest hit by the continuing spiral in electricity prices are supported during these times of increasing cost of living expenses” he says.
The government has also introduced a new time of use tariff which offers benefits to off-peak users. QCOSS urges consumers to seek technical advice before taking up the tariff as the peak loading is substantial and the “shoulder” charge for use through much of the day is very similar to Tariff 11. The daily service fee for this tariff is also three times higher than for Tariff 11.
Yesterday the Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle announced an Independent Review Panel to oversee the reform of power delivery by government entities, with the aim of reducing price increases and implementing new tariffs.
QCOSS President Karyn Walsh today urged the government to extend the review to also look at price impacts on disadvantaged Queenslanders and to review the concessions framework currently available to them.
“While we support all efforts to keep the overall price increases down, we urge the government to adopt a more targeted approach that assists those hardest hit,” says Karyn. “At the very least concessions should be extended to all health care card holders until a thorough review of the concessions framework can be undertaken.”
For 50 years QCOSS has strived to promote social justice through working to eliminate inequality and disadvantage. The Queensland Council of Social Service represents 650 organisations and individuals throughout the state.
Mark Henley 0448 075 087, Karyn Walsh 0413 619 785
Mark Jeffery 0419 732 583, Ian Wynne 0414 643 122