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    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    ‘Smart Savings’ Budget concessions to save household budgets

    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Sunday, June 03, 2018

    ‘Smart Savings’ Budget concessions to save household budgets

    The Palaszczuk Government will commit more than $5.5 billion in the 2018/19 State Budget to help Queenslanders’ household budgets, Acting Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said.

    “The June 12 State Budget will deliver on our commitments we made to Queenslanders and will help them manage the cost of living,” Ms Trad said.

    “It is focused on jobs and delivering on key priorities of health and education, and of course planning for the future.

    “Queenslanders often talk to me about the cost of living pressures they continue to face. I’m always mindful of the need to ease the burden of household bills.

    “The Budget will allocate more than $5.5 billion in assistance in the 2018/19 financial year, which is more than a $200 million increase over 2017/18. That’s the equivalent of more than $1,000 for every Queenslander.”

    Ms Trad said the Government was investing a record $312 million to fund a range of energy rebates and concessions, of which, $212 million is to specifically assist vulnerable Queenslanders and $100 million Electricity Asset Ownership Dividend will be provided to all households.

    This included $195.5 million to deliver the electricity rebate to eligible seniors, pensioners, veterans and low-income families. The electricity rebate provides assistance of up to approximately $341 per year towards electricity costs.

    “The Palaszczuk Government also extended eligibility for the Electricity Rebate to Commonwealth Health Care Card (HCC) holders and asylum seekers from 1 April 2017,” Ms Trad said.

    “I urge Queenslanders to discover the rebates and concessions they are entitled to by visiting the Queensland Government’s Smart Savings website.

    Since it was launched in June 2017, more than 135,000 Queenslander have used this money-saving directory site to browse Government rebates across 17 categories.

    “Every Queenslander should take a look at the site – it’s user friendly, it’s comprehensive and its focused on keeping money in your pocket by saving you money on everyday living expenses.

    “It’s not just families who will benefit.

    “As well as electricity and reticulated natural gas rebates for pensioners, HCC holders and seniors, there are textbook and resource allowances for secondary students and travel and accommodation subsidies for apprentices and trainees, there’s financial assistance for Queensland residents of all ages, and from many walks of life.”

    The most ‘clicked’ categories on the Smart Savings site were ‘Cost of Living’, ‘Energy and Water’ and ‘Transport’.

    Visit qld.gov.au/smartsavings to access Smart Savings or contact the Queensland Government call centre 13QGOV (13 74 68).

    The top ten key concessions:

    1. Electricity Rebate Scheme helps Queensland pensioners Health Care Card holders and seniors pay their electricity bill with a rebate of up to approximately $341 per year.
    2. Vehicle and Boat Registration Concessions reduces the cost of vehicle and boat registration fees for seniors and pensioners.
    3. School Transport Assistance Scheme helps eligible families that do not have a school in their local area, or who are from defined low income groups with school travel costs.
    4. Oral Health Scheme provides free dental care to eligible Queenslanders and their dependents.
    5. Vocational Education and Training – Certificate 3 Guarantee helps eligible Queenslanders get their first post–school Certificate III qualification to improve their job prospects by subsiding tuition fees.
    6. Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme provides financial assistance to patients who need to access specialist medical services not available within their local area. It provides a subsidy towards the cost of travel and accommodation for patients and, in some cases, an approved escort.
    7. Vocational Education and Training – Higher Level Skills Tuition Fee Subsidy subsidises the cost of tuition fees paid by students undertaking a priority Certificate IV, diploma or advanced diploma or industry endorsed skill set.
    8. Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme offers a 20% subsidy, up to a maximum of $200 per year, to lessen the impact of local government rates and charges on pensioners, thereby assisting them to continue to live in their own homes.
    9. School Transport Allowance for Students with Disabilities assists families of students with disabilities with transport to attend state school programs.
    10. Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme provides funding assistance to eligible people for a range of aids and equipment, like mobility aids, artificial limbs or vehicle modifications, to help them live at home and avoid premature or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation.

    Some of the less well known concessions and loans include:

    • Rental Bond Loans provides interest-free rental bond loans, equivalent to a maximum amount of four weeks rent, for people who cannot afford to pay a full bond to move into private rental accommodation.
    • Spectacle Supply Scheme provides eligible Queensland residents with a pair of basic prescription spectacles, once every two years.
    • Home Assist Secure helps eligible people over 60, or those with a disability, with assistance to remain living in their home, either owned or rented. Free safety related information and referrals are available, plus subsidised assistance to pay for critical maintenance services.

    ENDS

    Media contact: Clare Manton 0432 446 268