Monday, June 24, 2024

SA Government concessions review gets underway

A review of more than $245 million in State Government concessions, including public transport, health and education related costs, will begin tomorrow in an effort to better help South Australians manage cost of living increases, Human Services Minister Nat Cook said today.

On Wednesday, the Minister will open the first meeting of a reference group formed to provide advice and identify opportunities for change.

“I am acutely aware that cost of living is one of the biggest issues facing many South Australians at the moment and cost of living headlines are constantly in the news right around the country,” said Minister Cook.

“Now is the time for us as a Government to be bold – and this review is an opportunity to provide a more equitable response for South Australians facing cost of living pressures.

“The review is also a key step towards ultimately alleviating poverty in South Australia,” she said.

Among the 19 concessions to be reviewed:

  • $164 million worth of household concessions – Cost of Living, water, sewerage, energy, Emergency Services Levy remission and the School Card Scheme;
  • $70 million worth of transport concessions – public transport, drivers licence and vehicle registration;
  • $13 million worth of health and wellbeing concessions – SA Ambulance Cover, funeral assistance, and medical heating and cooling.

The reference group comprises: the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS), Council on the Ageing SA (COTA), Multicultural Communities Council of SA, SA Financial Counsellors Association, Youth Affairs Council of SA (YACSA), the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Network and the Working Women’s Centre SA.

Minister Cook said participants’ input will be crucial in informing government of the needs of current concessions customers and people who may be missing out.

The State Government provides more than $245 million worth of concessions through discounts, subsidies and rebates to eligible households and individuals on low and fixed incomes to help ease the cost of some essential living expenses, such as energy bills, transport and medical expenses.

With the cost of living rising significantly across the nation, the SA Government made a commitment to a review to ensure all state concessions are well-targeted and delivered efficiently to best support the community.

The review will explore the concessions delivery, barriers to access, inconsistencies in eligibility, effectiveness of concessions targeting, priorities for change, and budget implications. It will also compare South Australian government concessions to those on offer around the country.

The reference group will identify change priorities for detailed modelling, and will provide advice on engagement, including potential for wider engagement later in the review process.

A comprehensive public report of costed review findings will be due by summer 2023/24.

Latest Articles