Pensioners need rate rebate rise

A LOCAL councillor is going in to bat for pensioners, arguing their State government rebate for rates and charges has remained unchanged for 21 years.

Nambucca Shire councillor Paula Flack said it is a situation which erodes already tight pensioner budgets.

Cr Flack said the rebate had been $250 since 1989 and the gap between the amount pensioners pay and the rebate was getting bigger and bigger.

“We need to have a look at this and do something to close the gap if possible,” Cr Flack said.

The NSW Government covers 55 per cent of the rebate with the council paying 45 per cent. For Nambucca Shire Council this amounts to $837,000 per annum.

“Of course, this means our rebate amount has also remained static, so it is not a matter of just asking the State government to increase the rebate.”

“What I would like to see is the State government changing the ratio so they shoulder the increase, not the shire council.

“This would compensate for financial burdens of cost-shifting and rate-pegging passed onto councils in recent years.”

She will be calling for a report on the situation at tonight's Nambucca Shire Council meeting.



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