Goward on rampage to jack up the rents of the most needy
Minister Pru Goward has confirmed the O'Farrell Government will cruelly raise public housing rents for single parents, veterans, the elderly and people with disabilities to claw back the Federal Government supplement they receive from July 1 to offset costs associated with carbon pricing.
Causing pandemonium in Question Time today, Ms Goward admitted the Government would treat the new supplement received by those in receipt of a Centrelink benefit or pension as part of their income assessment to determine their public housing rent:
- "From March next year, regular fortnightly carbon tax payments for social housing tenants will be included as assessable income."
- "Most social housing tenants will pay between $1 and $2 more in rent per week."
"Some of the most vulnerable citizens in NSW now have the news in cold blood from Pru Goward – the O'Farrell Government is planning to hike their public housing rents," Shadow Minister for Housing Adam Searle said today.
"This is an appalling attack on many single mums and people with disabilities who live in public housing.
"This will sting veterans and pensioners who for decades have paid into our tax system in good faith.
"It comes hot on the heels of last year's equally miserable decision to increase public housing rents by $10 a week.
"When carbon pricing begins, single pensioners are set to receive around $338 each year and pensioner couples around $510 each year from the Commonwealth to meet any increase in costs.
"This household assistance is there for a purpose and Pru Goward had a choice to take the humane option. She could have allowed people to keep these extra funds.
"Instead the Commonwealth will extend a supplement with one hand – while the State Government goes out of its way to claw it back.
"Many pensioners face increases of more than $100 a year. If you scrimp and save on a fixed income, then every dollar counts.
"A Government that has to resort to this kind of cash grab clearly has no heart."
NSW Labor has launched a petition opposing the rent increase. Copies can be obtained by calling the office of Labor MLC Penny Sharpe on 9230 2741
Tags: Adam Searle, community, housing, Penny Sharpe, Pru Goward, public housing, social housing