TasCOSS welcomes the openness of the Hodgman Government and Minister Barnett to listen and respond to the community needs.
We raised the inequity of the original decision and argued strongly for the benefit to be shared across all Tasmanians households relying on income support payments.
Energy costs are one of the most significant strains on a household budget. Many Tasmanian’s live with high levels of financial stress day to day and struggle to afford the most essential of items that many of us take for granted. In all family budgets there are some costs that are unavoidable and energy is obviously one of them.
Recent data released by ABS shows that financial stress is a reality for many Tasmanian households. This includes over 21,500 (10.2%) Tasmanian households reporting to the ABS they could not pay and electricity, phone or gas bill on time in the past 12 months (2015-16 ABS Household Expenditure Survey).
We applaud the Government for their responsiveness to the needs of our fellow Tasmanians. Tasmanians want to see a Government who listens, and then responds quickly where it can. $125 for a low income household can be the difference between being able to put healthy food on the table or being able to afford an essential item for the kids for school.