News

Federal cuts may hit local pension discounts

PENSIONER discounts for rates could knock more than half a million dollars off the Clarence Valley's bottom line over the next four years if measures in the Federal Budget are passed.

A council spokesman said the council offered rates and water rates subsidies to pensioners partially covered by federal and state government grants.

The budget papers reveal the Federal Government will terminate its part of the agreement from July 1, 2014.

Council's corporate director Ashley Lindsay said the federal budget, if passed, would have an immediate and lasting impact on the finances of all councils, including the Clarence Valley.

He said the biggest impact was through the budget measure to pause annual increases for financial assistance grants, which have historically been indexed in line with the consumer price index and population growth.

He said that in 2013-14, the council received a total $10,240,000 in general purpose and roads grants from the Commonwealth Government.

"Based on the assumption of the CPI running at 2.5% a year from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the impact of this measure to pause the CPI indexation on the financial assistance grants will cost council about $1.063 million in reduced grant income over four years," he said.

He said another substantial impact on council's finances came from the Commonwealth's decision to remove a rate subsidy it provided pensioners and other concession card holders.

Council provides concession card holders with discounts on their general rates and on their water and sewer charges.

On general rates, that discount equals half the rate, up to a maximum of $250.

On water and sewer charges, it provides a 50% discount up to a maximum of $87.50 for each charge. Historically, the State Government funded 50% of that subsidy, with local government providing 45% and the Federal Government 5%.

Under changes announced in the Federal Budget, the Commonwealth will drop its contribution to rate subsidies to concession card holders, meaning the council will need to increase its contribution to 50%.

In 2014-15 that is estimated to cost the Clarence Valley Council $121,582.

Over four years, the council would be out of pocket $504,688. Mr Lindsay said the re-introduction of indexation of fuel excises would further impact on council's finances.

He said a one cent a litre increase in diesel prices would add $11,600 to council's costs and a similar price rise for E10 prices would add another $2900 to the fuel bill.

Member for Page Chris Gulaptis said the big issues for the states was the loss of $80 billion for health and education.

"To be truthful I haven't considered things like the pensioner concessions," he said.

"It's been the major line issues that we've been focused on."

Mr Gulaptis said all these issues will be thrashed out in party room meetings before next month's state budget.

Topics:  black budget chris gulaptis clarence valley council federal budget 2014



Hill leads DEX Premier League Team of the Week

Easts batsman Ben Hill during the CRCA match between Easts and Brothers at Ellem Oval on Saturday, 13th February, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

The DEX sports desk reveals its Premier League team of the week.

Big waves, strong winds expected to smash our coastline

Warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology

Clarence Dance studio concerts

The under 8 jazz troupe at the Studio 1 Dance Academy concert

Check out some of the best dancers in town

Local Partners

Harmony takes her next big step

BRAVE Grafton girl Harmony Fielden will undergo another major operation in Sydney's Westmead Hospital to help correct the symptoms of a mystery condition.


How people power stopped the gas mines

Iluka resident and character in the film, Ian Gaillard, addresses the crowd of anti-CSG protesters at Bentley.

Award-winning documentary to be screened in the Clarence Valley

Bored? Here's 9 things to do this weekend

The Clarence Valley Mental Health Fishing Group are holding a Christmas fishing event at Memorial Park.

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Bringing their Magic Mojo to Grafton

MAGIC: Head down to Roches Family Hotel for a brilliant mix of '70s, '80s and '90s music by Magic Mojo, a Coffs Coast band using their experience to give a brilliant performance.

Powerful trio to lift the top off Roches Hotel tonight

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!