Canberrans struggling with the cost of living should find it easier to know what ACT Government concessions and rebates they might be eligible for with an updated, one-stop website.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the updated Assistance website made it easier for Canberrans to find information and apply for financial support.
“What we’ve been able to do is consolidate in one spot an easy straightforward way for people to get further information about the range of services and support that they can access from the Government,” he said.
Answering a few simple questions in the site’s new Savings Finder tool will bring up a list of savings that may be available.
Asked whether people had been missing out on some of the Government assistance, Mr Barr said it was important to make people aware of their eligibility for assistance.
“It can make a difference for many households,” Mr Barr said. “We have in place those programs to provide targeted assistance so we want this support to get to those who are eligible for it.”
Almost 30,000 people took up the ACT Government’s Utilities Concession in each of the last two financial years, receiving up to a $654 discount on their electricity bills, and that had been increased to $700, the second in a row.
Around 17,000 people accessed rebates and deferments to help with their rates bills in both 2016-17 and 2017-18, including over 15,000 pensioners and over 600 people facing financial hardship.
Other assistance measures on the Assistance page include discounted or free travel on buses and light rail, financial support for secondary students in low-income families, help to cover the upfront cost of a rental bond, and how to pay fines in instalments.
“Canberra is an inclusive, progressive and connected city but we know cost of living pressures weigh more heavily on some Canberrans than others,” Mr Barr said. “That’s why the government has concessions, rebates and payment plans to make sure the everyday cost of living doesn’t derail the wellbeing of any family or individual.”
The updated Assistance website can be found at www.act.gov.au/assistance.