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CPSA: Rebate nullified by rise in electricity prices

Electricity price rises to hurt pensioners 16000646 800498880 0 0 7059915 300

The New South Wales government's $200 Low Income Household Rebate will be nullified by a planned rise in electricity prices, the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) has said.

With an average increase of around 17.3 per cent across the state, bills will jump by anywhere between $216 and $316 per year.

Charmaine Crowe, policy co-ordinator with the CPSA, said that the $55 increase to the rebate on July 1 would be rendered null and void by an increase in electricity prices on that same day.

She said: "Pensioners will have to cut their food and health budgets to meet the higher cost of electricity, especially those in rural and regional NSW, where average bills are set to exceed $2,000 per year.

"That equates to more than ten per cent of the single pension, which is $18,961 per year."

Pensioners in rural parts of the country would be even worse off, Ms Crowe elaborated, as they pay up to $500 more per year as a result of higher supply charges - despite the higher cost, they are not entitled to a more generous rebate.

The policy co-ordinator called on the New South Wales government to reform the energy industry so that supply is totally covered and usage charges are partially covered - all in the name of making the rebate for pensioners fairer.