Energy: One-offs don’t solve entrenched problems

Article published 23 April 2019

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THE Australian Government announced a one-off Energy Assistance Payment to all pension recipients living in Australia on 2 April 2019.

The Energy Assistance Payment will be $75 for singles and $62.50 for each eligible member of a couple.

Originally, Newstart recipients weren’t included. However, the Government bowed to pressure and announced that they would get it, too.

Legislation for this measure was passed on 3 April 2019 and payments can be expected to be made by 30 June 2019.

The one-off payment is aimed to ease cost of living pressures. But as the Australian Competition and Consumer Consumption (ACCC) reports, the “dysfunctional state of energy retailing in Australia” needs much more work to make prices affordable.

In August 2018, the ACCC was directed by the Australian Government to hold a long-running inquiry into the supply of electricity and report findings every six months. The ACCC’s first bi-annual report stated that recommendations made to the Government in June 2018, including network write-downs, and the abolishment of solar subsidies, still haven’t been implemented.


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