New South Wales seniors will retain their state concessions and Pension Concession Card holders will receive a new $90 gas rebate as part of a range of announcements in this year’s state budget.
The state government kept its promise to retain funding for seniors’ concessions after federal funding was cut in 2014.
National Seniors’ New South Wales policy advisory group chair Irene Steinsaid the budgetwas good news for older people.
“Stand out measures include the new $90 per annum gas rebate for Pension Concession Card holders to commence 1 July 2015 as well as funding to double the number of businesses offering Seniors Card discounts,” she said.
“We also welcome the state government’s election commitment to extend NSW energy rebates to the 75,000 residents in retirement villages, residential communities, and embedded network strata schemes that do not currently have access to these.
“However, this is not proposed to start until 2016-2017, which creates an inequity in accessing such concessions and impacts the household budgets of NSW seniors who reside in this type of housing.
Stein said the budget had a focus on enhancing funding for support programs such as tech savvy seniors and community travel schemes.
“Increased funding to hospitals to decrease waiting times for emergency departments and elective surgery is also welcome news,” she said.
National Seniors also welcomed funding including $2 million over four years for the Tech Savvy Seniors program, $4 million in grants over four years for local community projects to deliver accessibility, active living and mobility projects for seniors and a boost in funding for public and community transport.