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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Time for States to reward self-funded retirees

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today called on the States and Territories to accept a new offer, which could save Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders an average of nearly $700 a year on their rates, car registration, electricity charges, water and sewerage.

The Australian Government has offered the States and Territories $75 million to provide concessions for energy, rates, water and sewerage and motor vehicle registration costs for their Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders.

Senator Patterson said: “If the State and Territory governments sign up to this offer, self-funded retirees who are eligible for the CSHC – an important group in the community who have provided for their own retirement – will be eligible for a range of concessions.

“Providing these discounts for our seniors is just one way we can recognise and acknowledge the contribution self-funded retirees have made and continue to make to Australia.”

“I have written to State and Territory governments asking them to consider this new offer. We have increased our offer by $10 million. I urge the States and Territories to take up this offer for the benefit of their self-funded retirees.

“We believe that the provision of concessions is a State government responsibility. Our offer is generous because we are asking the States and Territories to pay less than half of the costs.”

Senator Patterson said the offer was based on joint funding with the Australian Government contributing 60% and the States 40% of the costs of providing the concessions.

“It is time that the States and Territories come into line with Western Australia and the Northern Territory, both of which offer concessions to their Commonwealth Seniors Card Holders,” she said.

See attachment for breakdown of the value of concessions to self-funded retirees.

Attachment

Value of concessions to self- funded retirees
State Rates Water and Sewerage Energy Motor Vehicle Total possible benefit
ACT $250 $300 $167 $248 $965
NSW $250 $175 $112 $264 $801
NT $200 $200 $365 $104 $869
QLD $180 Not Applicable $120 $155 $455
SA $190 $185 $120 $79 $574
TAS $318 Not Applicable $177 $91 $586
VIC $135 $135 $110 $140 $520
WA $325 $106 $94 $70 $595

Actual value to each individual will vary based on his or her circumstances, eg. whether they rent or own home, drive a motor vehicle etc.

Offer to State and Territory Governments 2002 New offer
ACT $2,100,000 $2,272,000
NSW $29,400,000 $35,420,000
NT $270,000 $297,000
QLD $7,300,000 $9,717,000
SA $3,600,000 $4,574,000
TAS $1,070,000 $1,390,000
VIC $14,200,000 $15,377,000
WA $6,400,000 $6,428,000