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New concessions for Tasmanians most in need

Tue 5 March 2013

Lara Giddings


Tasmanians most in need will benefit from changes to electricity concessions, announced today as part of the Premier's "People Agenda."

The Premier, Lara Giddings, said the changes would complement the state's existing $33 million concession system, which is already the most comprehensive in the nation.

"My government recognises that rising costs for basic needs like electricity have put pressure on all households, particularly low income families with the least capacity to pay," Ms Giddings said.

"Today I am announcing the introduction of a new Medical Cooling Rebate for electricity concession customers who have a proven medical need for air conditioning.

"We will also boost the Life Support Discount to take account of price rises since it was first set in 2002, and index it to future increases.

"And we will take over Aurora's responsibility for its contributions to the Salvation Army's hardship program and the No Interest Loan Scheme."

The cost implications of the new revised concessions are expected to be modest, but they will make a real difference for recipients.

"These changes will directly assist low income earners, particularly those who are struggling to meet the additional energy costs that result from an illness or chronic condition.

"They will also give customers certainty about concessions as we move towards retail competition through the Government's energy reforms."

Ms Giddings said the changes followed the cost of living relief provided in the 2012-13 Budget.

"The Government took strong action to halve expected power price increases, saving all Tasmanian households around $200.

"We have also boosted funding for NILS to cover the purchase of energy efficient appliances, and delivered the $1 million Food for All Tasmanians program.

"Supporting Tasmanians in need is a key part of the Government's agenda for jobs, people and opportunities."