South Australian pensioners and self-funded retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will be entitled to a new cost of living concession, announced in the state budget.
The cost of living concession, to come into effect on 1 July 2015, will see 205,000 households receive a $100 or $200 payment to put toward electricity, gas, water or council rates.
National Seniors’ South Australian policy advisory group spokesperson Myrana Wahlqvist said the new concession would replace the $190 council rate concession which was previously only for pensioners and self-funded retirees who owned their own home.
“This is welcome news that pensioners, low-income earners and self-funded retirees who are tenants will now receive this payment,’’ Wahlqvist said.
“But it’s not all good news as seniors will face a 2.6 per cent increase in motor vehicle registration fees and similar increases to Compulsory Third Party (CTP) premiums and the Lifetime Support Scheme levy,” she said.
To boost investment and stimulate economic growth, the South Australian Government also announced that stamp duty would not be payable on the sale of commercial properties.
“We are disappointed that the stamp duty exemption was not extended to residential housing to assist seniors who want to downsize,” Wahlqvist said.
National Seniors welcomed funding in the budget of$159.9 million for Flinders Medical Centre to create a new 55-bed rehabilitation centre and a new older person’s mental health service.