Baillieu Secret Cash Grab On Concession Card Holders

Premier Baillieu has deceived Victorian concession card holders by cutting a portion of financial concessions from their household utility bills.

This is despite the Baillieu Government’s key election promise to reduce the cost of living for all Victorians, Shadow Minister for the Cost of Living Lily D’Ambrosio said today.

Ms D’Ambrosio said that hundreds of Victorian concession card holders have noticed an increase in the cost of their household utility bills due to the Baillieu Government profiting from the Federal Government’s household assistance package.

“Mr Baillieu’s secretive $32 million cash grab will cost 800,000 Victorians around $41 on their utility bills each year,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“This is nothing more than a callous cash grab from a Premier who is clearly out of touch with the cost of living pressures of ordinary Victorians.

“The Premier needs to explain how taking away some of the state concession is helping vulnerable Victorians with their cost of living.”

Utility providers have specified in letters to customers that, as a result of the Federal Government compensation for the household assistance package, the Baillieu Government has decided a portion of the state concession is now ‘unnecessary’ for what the Federal Government’s package now covers.

This is despite the Minister for Community Services, Mary Wooldridge, stating:

“It is only the Baillieu government that is committed to easing cost of living pressures for vulnerable Victorians in this state.” (8, November 2011)

“If the Baillieu government was serious about easing cost of living pressures why has it decided to withhold $41 of the subsidy under the cap of the Federal Government household assistance package?” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Victorians have been looking to Premier Baillieu since he took office to reduce cost of living pressures on household budgets.

“What we have seen instead are price rises across the board and a government that is more concerned about running a surplus than alleviating cost of living pressures for Victorian households.”