Treasurer Andrew Fraser
Treasurer Andrew Fraser

Budget to cut power bills by $113

ELECTRICITY bills will be cut by $113 a year from July 1 under a plan unveiled in the state budget today.

Premier Anna Bligh has announced the abolition of the Community Ambulance Cover (CAC) levy in the 2011-12 State Budget.

More than 1.4 million Queensland households and small businesses will benefit from the abolition of levy, which was introduced to fund ambulance services across the state, replacing the old subscription model.

The Premier said ambulance services would remain free for all Queenslanders - in Queensland and around the nation.

""The ambulance will always be there for you, but now the bill won't be. This is a direct savings measure for families doing it tough," Premier Bligh said.

"In this Budget, we wanted to look for the most direct way to lessen the burden on families. The abolition of this levy will leave 1.4 million Queensland households and small businesses $113 better off.

"Importantly, the Government will step in and maintain funding for the ambulance service to ensure those services remain free for all Queenslanders."

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said abolishing the levy was one of a suite of measures in this year's budget to help lower electricity bills.

"On top of the $113 direct saving, the Government's $60 million extension of the ClimateSmart Home Service, including the new 'standby power eliminator', could potentially knock another $190 off your power bill.

"And we have ordered Ergon and Energex not to pass on costs relating to the natural disasters to consumers, despite the Queensland Competition Authority declaring that they legally could."

Mr Fraser said Queenslanders will get the benefit of almost $1.4 billion in concessions and subsidies in next year's budget, including:

-Electricity rebate will be increased by 6.6% to $230 for pensioners and seniors

-The maximum councils rates rebate for pensioners will be increased by $20 to $200

-The Pensioner Water Subsidy for those within the SEQ Water grid will increase by $20 to $120

These increases for pensioners are valued at $58.9 million over four years.

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