Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh congratulates the Queensland Government on announcing a further $50 off Queenslanders’ electricity bills from 1 September.
“Every bit helps for those who are struggling with paying bills,” says Ms McVeigh.
“QCOSS has long advocated for better concessions and power prices for all Queenslanders. The announcement today from the state government shows that they are listening.”
In June, QCOSS launched a seven-point plan for economic recovery, ‘A Recovery for All Queenslanders’. One of the asks was for a second tranche of energy bill relief delivered to coincide with quarterly bills in September, and that’s what has been announced today by the state government.
“Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders have lost their jobs in recent months, and sadly we know that will increase again before the year is up. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced today in the economic statement that the unemployment rate will hit 9.25 per cent nationally by December.
“Anyone can find themselves in financial crisis. We called for a second tranche of bill relief because we are deeply concerned about the accumulated debt faced by Queensland households come the end of September.
“We expect to see financial institutions and other services narrow the elgibility criteria for their financial hardship programs at the same time the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments are due to be cut, and the eviction moratorium ends for renters.
“There are also a significant number of people in Queensland now unemployed who are temporary visa holders who should be eligible for COVID relief from the state government.
“$50 off every Queensland household’s bill acknowledges that we are all doing it tough right now. In saying this, we would love to see additional targeted bill relief for those who have lost their jobs or are working fewer hours due to the COVID crisis, and we will continue to advocate to government for this,” Ms McVeigh says.