August 14, 2017

More than 400,000 age pensioners, 109,000 people on the disability support pension and 105,000 carers will suffer from the Turnbull Government’s decision to scrap the energy supplement while power prices continue to sky-rocket.

On Friday the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe confirmed:

The higher price of electricity is also affecting household budgets, particularly lower income households that have spent a disproportionately high amount of their income on electricity. “It’s crippling their budgets and having effects on consumption.”

Yet Malcolm Turnbull is pressing ahead with his plan to cut the $365 energy supplement for new single pensioners and $550 for couple pensioners.

This is in spite of evidence from National Seniors that the energy supplement is “critical to maintaining a basic standard of living in light of ongoing and extraordinary increases in electricity prices”.

$365 a year might not sound like much to Malcolm Turnbull, but for pensioners it can make a difference.

Mr Turnbull knows that the way to immediately put downward pressure on power prices is to settle the energy policy uncertainty and put in place a Clean Energy Target.

The Finkel Panel recommended that there was an “urgent need for a clear and early decision” on a Clean Energy Target.

Yet this Government is happy for their policy paralysis to continue with the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg saying yesterday, “We don’t need to rush this decision.”

The country is in the midst of a deep energy crisis. Australian households and businesses can’t afford for the Prime Minister and Energy Minister to scrap the energy supplement or delay the introduction of a Clean Energy Target.