Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government will commit $5.66bn in the 2019/20 State Budget to help Queenslanders’ household budgets.
“The 11 June State Budget will keep delivering on the commitments we’ve made to Queenslanders and will help hard pressed families, young people and our seniors and pensioners to manage the cost of living.
“I am always mindful of the need to ease the burden of household bills.
“Our extensive range of concessions are there to assist Queenslanders no matter where they live” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Assisting seniors and pensioners is quite rightly, always a key priority for the Labor Government.
“They deserve a fair go and proper recognition.”
The Budget will allocate more than $5.66bn in the 2019/20 financial year which is more than a $76m increase over the Budget commitment in 2018/19. That’s the equivalent of more than $1,000 in concessions for every Queenslander.
The assistance includes $192.3m to deliver the electricity rebate to eligible seniors, pensioners, veterans and low-income families. The electricity rebate provides assistance of $341 per year towards electricity costs.
To help pensioners to live in their own homes the Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme offers a 20% subsidy (up to a maximum of $200 per year) to lessen the impact of local government rates and charges.
And the Pensioner Water Waste Subsidy Scheme provides up to $120 a year for them to reduce water bills.
These two schemes alone are budgeted to save Queensland pensioners $74.1 million over the next twelve months.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the 11 June Budget will invest in jobs today and for the future and will keep delivering in the key areas of health and education.
“There are a range of concessions for younger Queenslanders,” Ms Trad said,
“To help them get started on a career or into a job, textbook and resource allowances are available for secondary students and travel and accommodation subsidies for apprentices.”
In 2017 the Palaszczuk Government extended the eligibility for the Electricity Rebate to Commonwealth Health Care Card (HCC) holders and asylum seekers, however too many are still missing out as they haven’t applied for it.
While about 50,000 of them have signed up for this vital assistance since then, it’s estimated at least another 100,000 could be eligible for the rebate.
“Queenslanders who live in regional and remote areas can also access special rebates to help ensure they’re not paying more for things like power, water and healthcare because of where they live,” Ms Trad said.
“I encourage everyone to check the Smart Savings website for concessions that can make a real difference in easing people’s financial worries.
“It’s not just families who could benefit.
“The Smart Savings website lists all of the Government’s many concessions and rebates in one location, making it easier for Queenslanders to find and apply for them,” Ms Trad said.
Visit www.qld.gov.au/smartsavings to access Smart Savings or contact the Queensland Government call centre 13QGOV (13 74 68).
The top ten concessions by total Government spend:
- User Choice - Apprentice and Trainee Training Subsidy ($199.0 million) provides government funding of between $1,150 and $50,720 towards the costs of training and assessment for eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees.
- Vocational Education and Training - Certificate III Guarantee Tuition Fee Subsidy ($193.7 million) helps eligible Queenslanders to obtain their first post-school Certificate III qualification to gain a job or to improve their employment status.
- Electricity Rebate Scheme ($192.3 million) helps Queensland pensioners and seniors pay their electricity bill with a rebate of up to $341 a year.
- Vehicle and Boat Registration Concessions ($185.1 million)reduces the cost of vehicle and boat registration fees for seniors and pensioners.
- School Transport Assistance Scheme ($139.0 million)helps eligible families that do not have a school in their local area, or who are from eligible low-income groups with school travel costs.
- Oral Health Scheme ($163.6 million) provides free dental care to eligible Queenslanders and their dependents.
- Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme ($92.5 million)provides financial assistance to patients who need to access specialist medical services not available within their local area. It provides a subsidy towards the cost of travel and accommodation for patients and, in some cases, an approved escort.
- Vocational Education and Training – Higher Level Skills Tuition Fee Subsidy ($75 million) subsidises the cost of tuition fees paid by students undertaking a priority Certificate IV, diploma or advanced diploma or industry endorsed skill set.
- Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme ($55.2 million) offers a 20% subsidy, up to a maximum of $200 per year, to lessen the impact of local government rates and charges on pensioners, thereby assisting them to continue to live in their own homes.
- School Transport Allowance for Students with Disabilities ($45.8 million) assists families of students with disabilities with transport to attend state school programs.
Some of the less well-known concessions and loans include:
- Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme provides funding assistance to eligible people for a range of aids and equipment, like mobility aids, artificial limbs or vehicle modifications, to help them live at home and avoid premature or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation.
- Rental Bond Loans provides interest-free rental bond loans, equivalent to a maximum amount of four weeks rent, for people who cannot afford to pay a full bond to move into private rental accommodation.
- Spectacle Supply Scheme provides eligible Queensland residents with a pair of basic prescription spectacles, once every two years.
- Home Assist Secure helps eligible people over 60, or those with a disability, with assistance to remain living in their home, either owned or rented. Free safety related information and referrals are available, plus subsidised assistance to pay for critical maintenance services.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad