Posted on: 06 June 2023
More than 200,000 South Australian households eligible for the $500 energy bill relief rebate - comprising of defence force veterans and families on Tax Benefit A or B - could be forced to fork out for skyrocketing winter energy bills without assistance promised by Labor.
The shock revelation is a caveat on the State Government’s own energy bill relief website saying Services Australia or DVA (Department for Veterans Affairs) will make contact about rebates after winter.
It clearly outlines: “Some people will be eligible for the rebate, but not concessions. They will be contacted in September 2023 about what they need to do.” All others will automatically receive relief from 1 July.
In Parliament on Wednesday, Treasurer Stephen Mullighan confirmed there are approximately 420,000 South Australian households, half of which, are in receipt of Family Tax Benefit A and B.
“The bulk of the work in trying to put this plan together has been trying to come up with a workable and accurate regime to ensure that both Services Australia and the Department of Human Services (DHS) can accurately get that customer information to the energy retailers,” he said.
“It requires a joint effort by Services Australia at the Commonwealth level (and) DHS at the state level to ensure that the energy retailers are taking the reductions from the energy bills.”
Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said there are huge concerns South Australians promised the $500 rebate won’t receive it in time to pay for winter electricity bills.
“Winter electricity bills will be among the highest in state history this year, but we’ve only just learned eligible SA households could miss out on the crucial $500 rebate because of an information sharing problem between the Labor state and federal governments,” he said.
“This is a real kick in the guts for newly eligible South Australians counting on this crucial $500 because they might not receive the rebate for months, long after they’ve already covered the cost of skyrocketing energy bills for the winter period.
“Peter Malinauskas must guarantee all SA households eligible for the $500 rebate will receive it by July 1 so it’s fair for all, in time to take the sting out of winter electricity bills.
“It’s concerning to think that some eligible South Australian households might not receive any electricity bill rebate relief this year if the information sharing problem between the Labor state and federal governments isn’t urgently corrected to make this process fair for all.”