Pensioners respond to the 2020-21 NSW Budget
“CPSA is pleased about the commitment the NSW Government has made to social housing maintenance. CPSA hopes that the funds attributed to maintaining social housing properties will be sufficient to stay up to date with maintenance to ensure there is no future backlog of services”, said CPSA Senior Policy Officer Luke Medic.
“However, the NSW Government’s commitment to the construction of social housing is disappointing. The latest commitment to developing social housing will deliver 1,300 new social housing dwellings across NSW. This is a drop in the ocean considering there were more than 50,000 households on the NSW social housing waitlist as of June 2019.
“CPSA was disappointed that the social housing priority age will not be lowered. Currently, to be considered a priority for social housing based on age, an applicant must be 80 years or older. As older people, particularly older women struggle in the private rental market, the age for priority social housing should be lowered to 55 years, an age generally used to describe older people in the context of homelessness. 55 is no pie-in-the-sky number, the Victorian priority age for social housing is 55, it should be the same for NSW.
“The ‘Out and About’ voucher program will provide all NSW adults with up to $100 in digital vouchers. This will be good news for older people who have access to a mobile digital device. During the pandemic older people have experienced social isolation more than ever so this is a good incentive to get people out spending and socialising. However, if this program does not provide an alternative offline version, then many older people will miss out because they can’t afford a smart phone or they find them too complicated to use.
“CPSA is concerned about how stamp duty reform would affect older homeowners on low-fixed incomes. While the proposal is for homeowners who have paid stamp duty on their current house to be exempt from paying a new property tax, the concern is that if older homeowners on low-fixed incomes downsize their home they will find it difficult to pay this property tax.”
Media contact: Luke Medic, Senior Policy Officer
Mobile: 0434 513 801