- State Budget has lower increases in fees and charges compared to last year
- Fees and charges for the average household will increase by 4.8 per cent
- Electricity prices will rise by about 30 cents a day for the average family household
- State Budget includes major reform to water pricing structure to drive sustainability
- Utilities concessions provided to families in most need
The McGowan Labor Government has limited increases to households to 4.8 per cent in the 2018-19 Budget, with the changes taking effect from July 1, 2018.
In line with the previous Liberal National Government's final Budget, electricity prices will increase in 2018-19 by seven per cent. This results in a $121 increase in the representative household's bill or about 30 cents a day.
The McGowan Government has also delivered lower than expected water charges for the vast majority of Western Australians. As part of the new water efficiency pricing model, the expected fixed service charge increase has been halved to just three per cent, with total water charges for the average household set to increase by 5.5 per cent, down from the six per cent previously factored into the Budget.
The new model also incentivises WA's worst water guzzlers to help drive water efficiency.
The McGowan Labor Government continues to provide a number of utilities concessions to families in need, with a total of $2.2 billion forecast to be spent across the forward estimates period, including:
- The $300 Energy Assistance Payment ($282 million) which is paid to all households with a means tested concession card;
- $81 million for the Dependent Child Rebate, which is paid to households with dependent children and a means tested concession card ($315 for the first dependent child and $82 for every additional child);
- Subsidising country water, sewerage and drainage services ($1.3 billion);
- Water concessions for pensioners and seniors, with $401.6 million to be spent on various discounts to fixed and consumption charges automatically deducted from pensioner and seniors card holder's water bills; and
- $46 million allocated to the Hardship Utilities Grants program.
Changes to public transport fares have been kept to a minimum, with standard fares increasing by 1.5 per cent (rounded up to the nearest 10 cents). Student fares will remain at 70 cents, and the discount offered to SmartRider fares (20 per cent for Autoload and 10 per cent for other re-loads) will also be kept at 2017-18 levels. For the representative household, this will have an annual impact of only $21.
The 2018-19 Budget's household model also includes an annual $28 increase to the metropolitan Emergency Services Levy (ESL). Increases of between $8 and $17 per annum will apply across the four regional ESL categories. These increases will be used to fund a range of services, including the new Rural Fire Division, recently announced by the Minister for Emergency Services.
The other components of the 2018-19 household model tariffs, fees and charges are:
- Vehicle licence recording fee charges increasing by $20 or 5.8 per cent;
- A decrease of $1.10 or 9.1 per cent in the registration recording fee for two licensed drivers;
- A $1.55 or 3.7 per cent increase for a driver's licence; and
- An increase of $9 or 2.4 per cent for motor injury insurance.
Total expenditure by a representative household on typical goods and services in 2018-19 will increase by $292 or 4.8 per cent.
For more 2018-19 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"While some increases in household fees and charges are more than we would like, these increases are lower than last year and we have also worked hard to make them lower than expected in some cases.
"The Budget shows that annual increases will continue to go down under our plan, helping make things a little easier for everyday Western Australians.
"The McGowan Government remains committed to minimising the impact on those Western Australians most in need, with total subsidies of $2.2 billion to be spent across the next four years.
"Although the State's finances are improving, we still need households to do their bit to help fix the mess of the previous Liberal National Government.
"These increases are part of a broader plan to responsibly manage the finances, and carefully help balance the books which will benefit all Western Australians in the long run."
Treasurer's office - 6552 5900