Ryde Pensioners Hit in Social Housing Rent Hike

The O'Farrell Government recently announced measures which would hit the most vulnerable pensions and war widows with an unprecedented increase in their public housing rent.


The increase comes as a result of the O'Farrell Government's decision to count 25 percent of pensioners' Clean Energy Supplement towards their rent calculation.

In a morning tea held at Ryde's Ivanhoe Estate, Shadow Minister for Housing Sophie Cotsis MLC, briefed residents and local Labor councillors on the latest policy blunder by the O'Farrell government.

"This is a terrible decision for pensioners and war widows who rely on public housing across NSW," Shadow Minister for Housing Sophie Cotsis said.

"Premier O'Farrell is cheating pensioners out of $88 or $133 year. He has no right to do this. The commonwealth explicitly guaranteed pensioners their Clean Energy Supplement would be safe in the bank."

A letter from the Commonwealth to pensioners, dated March 27 2013 stated that "This is a tax free payment and does not count as income for social security or family assistance purposes."

Labor candidate for Bennelong Clr Jeff Salvestro-Martin and Clr Jerome Laxale have called on local Liberal member Victor Dominello to reverse this decision.

"This is yet another cynical cash grab from the O'Farrell Government, targeting our city's most vulnerable. Victor Dominello needs to protect our pensioners and war widows from this latest measure." Clr Laxale said.

Clr Salvestro-Martin was concerned that this policy would set a precedent for future Commonwealth payments, "If the state Liberals can come after pensioners' Clean Energy Supplement today, what other benefits will they come after tomorrow?"



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