The Palaszczuk Government is taking action to reduce cost of living for Queensland seniors, with increased funding for energy, rates and water concessions.
Speaking in Parliament today, Minister for Seniors Coralee O’Rourke said the government had increased the funding for energy, rates and water concessions since the last financial year by more than $27 million.
“The Palaszczuk Government understands that cost of living can be a real issue for our seniors,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“That’s why in this years’ budget we are delivering total funding of $290 million to help our state’s seniors with the cost of energy, water and their rates.”
“The key concessions that eligible seniors receive include up to $341 per year through the Electricity Rebate Scheme, and up to $200 per year through the Pensioner Rates Subsidy Scheme.”
Minister O’Rourke said that in addition, the Palaszczuk Government is working to ease the cost of living pressures through the Seniors Business Discount Card scheme, the Carer’s Card scheme and the Companion Card Scheme.
“Since 2015 the number of these cardholders has increased by 121,000,” she said.
“We care about the ability of seniors to get out and about in the community.
“We are making transport for our seniors cheaper, as well as offering concessional fares for Seniors.
“Our 1, 2 and free ticketing policy has saved seniors over $970,000 on more than 500,000 trips in 2016-17.”
Minister O’Rourke said the government is also delivering for the state’s seniors through a record health budget that has greatly reduced waiting lists and expanded safe, quality care in public health.
“The better our public health system is, the more seniors will be able to access it and spend their money on other things,” she said.
“We also believe that seniors need opportunities to learn more about technology.
“This helps them to manage their finances, as well as to find out what is going on around them and stay connected with family and friends.
“In the last financial year more than 9500 seniors participated in free Tech Savvy Seniors Training sessions around Queensland.
“In addition, our government acknowledges that sometimes our seniors don’t have the finances to access legal advice.
“We have stepped in as a Government and committed $2.6 million for free legal support services for seniors.”
Minister O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government will always work to give seniors a fair go and defend their back pocket.
“Our Government will continue to support measures that reduce the cost of living for seniors, from the cost of their transport, to their bills, to free legal advice and health care,” Mrs O’Rourke said
“They deserve every ounce of what we can do for them – Queensland would not be where it is today without their efforts.”
Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke