Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    Household basket of fees and charges to decrease in 2020-21

    25/06/2020 9:30 AM
    • Lower gross rental values passed onto metropolitan households and businesses
    • Representative household basket of fees and charges will drop by $63.52 in 2020-21
    • First time the representative household basket in its current form has been reduced
    • McGowan Government supports households and businesses with $2.3 billion committed in COVID-19 stimulus and support measures 

    The total representative household basket of fees and charges will decrease in Western Australia in 2020-21, saving households up to $63.52. This is the first time that the household model in its current form has decreased.


    The last time there was a reduction in household charges was in 2005-06, when the debits tax on bank account was abolished and the 50 cent student fare was introduced.


    The one per cent reduction in 2020-21, costing the Budget an additional $37 million, primarily due to the McGowan Government's decision to pass on the 13 per cent average fall in gross rental values (GRVs) to the owners of metropolitan properties.


    Households will now either receive a freeze or a reduction in GRV-related State Government charges, including the Emergency Services Levy (ESL), and wastewater and drainage charges.


    While regional GRVs have not yet been revised by the Valuer-General, the McGowan Government will freeze regional household GRV related charges for 2020-21.


    Household wastewater and drainage charges will fall on average by around $23.52.  Around 55 per cent of metropolitan households will receive a fall, and 45 per cent of metropolitan households and all regional customers will receive a freeze.


    This comes after $402 million was allocated in the State Budget to freeze the entire household basket of fees and charges for the first time since 2004-05, including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges and public transport fares, saving households $127 which was the expected rise.


    Businesses will also benefit from the lower GRVs through a reduction in the ESL. The average ESL for metropolitan commercial properties will fall by around $127 and by around $169 for industrial properties.


    This relief is in addition to the $2,500 offset paid to thousands of small businesses to assist with utility charges during the COVID-19 pandemic. This delivered more relief to businesses than freezing tariff increases, and equates to around 10 months of electricity supply for the average small business. 


    As outlined in the Budget, electricity business tariffs will rise by 3.7 per cent in 2020-21, while non-residential water tariffs will rise by 2.5 per cent to reflect the cost of supply.


    Eligible hospitality and tourism businesses with four or more wastewater fixtures have also had wastewater charges waived between May 1 to August 31, 2020.


    The McGowan Government is also waiving more than 250 business licences for 12 months for a wide range of businesses impacted by COVID-19.


    This includes trade licences such as those for painters, plumbers and electricians; vessel accommodation and mooring fees for tourism operators and commercial fishers, plus fishing licences; booking service fees for the passenger transport industry; liquor licences for the hospitality sector; real estate and settlement agent fees; and planning.


    Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:


    "It's only fair that lower GRVs, set by the Valuer-General, are passed onto Western Australians.


    "This means, for the first time the average household in its current form will see a decrease in fees and charges.


    "It builds on the freeze in the entire basket of household fees and charges increases announced in March and the significant support being provided to small businesses in WA.


    "The $2,500 utility offset payment provides businesses with more relief than had the Government simply frozen these business fees and charges in 2020-21.


    "To date, the McGowan Government has committed $2.3 billion in COVID-19 stimulus and relief measures to support WA households and businesses."


    Treasurer's office - 6552 5900