The South Australian Council of Social Service today released its telecommunications, energy and water policy for the SA State Election in March 2018. The peak welfare group is asking all parties to commit to 9 policies which will help those struggling most with cost of living pressures.
The policies SACOSS is proposing include:
• Increasing the availability of free public wifi in areas of digital disadvantage
• Making landlords responsible for the water supply charges to their rental properties
• Changing the energy concession from a flat rate to one based on the size of the bill
SACOSS Chief Executive Officer, Ross Womersley said,“We hope all parties going to the 2018 state election will have policies to address the multiple cost of living pressures".
"Last week’s announcement by the government of a discount deal for concession card holders is a very welcome start, but it does not help everyone who is struggling and it does not fill the chasm created by burgeoning energy prices. A comprehensive approach is needed and we think our policy proposals are good elevators because they focus on the most vulnerable energy, water and telecommunication consumers, including the working poor.”
“All South Australian households are feeling cost of living pressure, but it hits low income households hardest because they have less room to move in their household budget and essentials like telecommunications, energy and water account for a higher proportion of their household income.”
“Providing more free public wifi in digitally disadvantaged areas will help everyone, but particularly those on low incomes who are less likely to have home internet and more likely to only be connected to the net via their mobile phone (with expensive data).”
“Putting the onus for paying water supply charges back on landlords (because a house without water supply is not fit for purpose) will bring SA into line with every other state and territory and would save a rental household $292 per year.”
“The changes we propose to the energy concession mean it will be better targeted and give most relief to eligible households with the largest bills.”
“The policies in our package all address different areas of need, whether it be renters, very low wage workers or people looking to access government services online.”
In the last week of the election campaign, SACOSS will publish a report card rating the major parties against all the issues and policies the community sector will be raising throughout the campaign.
We've prepared an infographic summary of our 9 policies (click the images below to download the infographic):
Infographic is also available at: https://www.sacoss.org.au/cost-living
The full SACOSS Utilities Cost of Living Election Policy is available at: https://www.sacoss.org.au/cost-living