The NSW Government handed down its budget on 18 June and has delivered the commitments made by the Berejiklian Government at the recent state election.
Here are some of those of interest to seniors.
- The Coalition will assist households installing renewable energy systems. It has focused on battery storage systems and will provide no interest loans of up to $14,000 for households to install solar-battery or battery systems. Loans will be available for 300,000 households.
- The Coalition will deliver on its promise to extend the energy concession to low-income self- funded retirees. A $200 a year energy concession will go to 130,000 retirees holding a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
- The Coalition will deliver more health workers for the public hospital system. This will include: 5,000 more nurses and midwifes; 100 palliative care nurses; 1,060 doctors, specialists, and allied health workers; and 1,360 support staff.
- 10,000 cataract surgeries will be funded over the next four years to help address waiting lists for one of the most common surgeries affecting seniors.
- There will also be funding allocated to build new hospitals and refurbish or rebuild old ones.
- A big win for seniors is the four year freeze on the $2.50 Gold Opal Card daily cap which will continue to give seniors cheap access to public transport.
- Pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders in rural and regional areas will receive a $250 travel card for fuel, taxis and train and coach services.
- The Coalition will provide funding for infrastructure to support the construction of new housing across the state.
- The Coalition will also amend laws to mandate buy-backs of retirement village units as recommended under the 2017 Greiner Review. Operators will be required to buy back units within six months of a resident vacating (12 months in regional areas).