WATER REMISSION CUT WILL HIT PENSIONERS HARD
Brisbane City Council Opposition Leader Councillor Peter Cumming has slammed the Lord Mayor’s decision to strip Brisbane pensioners of their water rebate, as announced in the 2015/16 budget.
“In his budget speech, Lord Mayor Quirk claimed that the pensioner water remission will not change,” Cr Cumming said.
“However, in the next paragraph, he confirmed that pensioners who move house will be stripped of their benefit, while new pensioners will not be able to access it.
“So the LNP Council is not only sinking the boot into pensioners, they make the announcement in a sly and deceitful manner.”
The scrapping of the pensioner water remission means that any pensioner who moves house will lose their water remission of $300 per annum (or $6 a week) if they are a full pensioner, and $150 per annum ($3 a week) if they are a part pensioner.
Cr Cumming said the Lord Mayor’s excuse for the attack on the standard of living of Brisbane pensioners was that “council cannot indefinitely absorb a significant portion of the cost of services that it no longer provides”.
“Queensland Urban Utilities, the provider of Brisbane water, is 85% owned by Brisbane City Council,” Cr Cumming said.
“Further, BCC received interest, dividends and tax equivalent receipts from QUU to the tune of over $169 million last year.
“So Brisbane City Council is receiving buckets of money as the largest shareholder of Queensland Urban Utilities, which could be used to keep this remission going. Make no mistake, Lord Mayor Quirk has chosen to end the remission.”