Monday, 12 August 2013

So just how much is the O'Farrell Government taking from the wallets of public housing tenants when it takes one quarter of their Commonwealth Clean Energy Supplement?

In April 2013 the NSW Coalition Government began to calculate public housing rent to include the Commonwealth Clean Energy Supplement. It also allowed community housing associations/corporations to similarly adjust their rent calculations.

If one nominally allocates one Clean Energy Supplement payment of $13.50 per fortnight[1] to each of the 134,000 dwelling owned by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and totals the 25% of this supplement that the NSW O’Farrell Government takes from the renters of this public housing – then Liberal Party Premier O’Farrell and Nationals Deputy Leader Stoner now extract an estimated $11.7 million annually out of the pockets of predominately old aged and disability pensioners, widows (including war widows), single parents and carers.

In March 2013 the NSW Liberal Party stated that the cost to the State Budget of the carbon tax is expected to be $237 million. So 134,000 low income households will be paying an estimated 4.96%[2] of the O’Farrell Government’s total expected carbon tax bill for 2013-14.

Or to put it another way, about 5.42% of all 2.4 million NSW households (ABS National Regional Profile: New South Wales 2013) pay almost 5% of the NSW Government's total expected carbon tax bill.
If one also nominates one Clean Energy Supplement payment per fortnight to each of the 16,000 dwelling held by community housing – then the not-for-profit housing sector takes another $1.4 million annually. As this sector is unlikely to find that it is directly liable for the carbon tax, one wonders what excuse it will give its low income tenants for so blatantly gouging.

One particular Northern Rivers community housing company collects around $74,000 per annum from its tenants’ fortnightly federal energy supplements.

[1] The $13.50 is a single person's fortnightly payment if they are receiving the aged, disability, widow's or wife's pension or receiving carers payment.

[2] A thank you to Clarrie Rivers for confirming the estimated percentage of public housing renters paying part of the state's expected carbon tax bill.

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