Welfare group campaigns for relief from household costs

The government's clean energy policies should be subjected to ongoing monitoring to ensure households don't see rises in costs, according to the National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN).

Concerns have been raised over the adequacy of household assistance in the coming years, following the Gillard government introducing the Clean Energy Package to parliament today.

Maree O'Halloran, president of the NWRN, says: "The National Welfare Rights Network believes that the compensation arrangements are adequate overall, but are unfair for some groups.

"For example, the carbon tax compensation arrangements are less generous for unemployed people, single parents and students on social security payments."

The NWRN has praised the cash payments for households with energy-intensive medical equipment, designed to ensure that people are not penalised for necessary electricity usage.

It has also commended the government for its $300 commitment towards education and awareness programs that will assist households in becoming more energy efficient.

However, they remain concerned over the ability for some to cover rises in costs - including heating and electricity prices - citing a $128 difference between pension and Newstart payments as an example of some people being left behind.

According to O'Halloran: "This is the reason why unemployed people receive less financial help to meet carbon-induced price increases."