ANGLICARE WA has accused the Federal Government of failing to acknowledge a large section of the community that is “doing it really tough” in this week’s Federal Budget.
Chief executive Mark Glasson said the one-off payment of $75 for single people or $125 for couples as part of the Energy Assistance Payment would barely put a dent in the monthly power bill.
“If the goal is about making Australia fairer, the budget would also tackle more pressing issues such as lifting the base rate of Newstart which has been stagnant for 25 years,” Mr Glasson said.
The Government announced that the payment would go to people on age and disability support pensions, those getting carer and single parents payments as well as veterans and their eligible dependents.
However, Labor leader Bill Shorten said the payment worked out to be $1.45 a week.
“It’s better than nothing, but it’s not an energy policy. $1.45 a week for 12 months is not an energy policy, it’s an election con,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.
Single grandmother Lorraine (75) from Mandurah is on a full pension and said the one-off payment wouldn’t even cover a power bill.
“It’s a pittance,” she said.
“All summer I haven’t used the air conditioner because it chews up electricity. And I don’t use it in winter either.
“At night I sit in the dark and use a head-lamp – like the ones you use for camping – to read my book, so I don’t use any power.”
She said people on full pensions needed a deduction on all bills, not one-off payment.