The spiralling cost of living pressures West Australians are now enduring has been highlighted by new figures that show one home in the State is being disconnected from power every thirty minutes because of non-payment of electricity bills.
Dr David Honey, WA Liberal Leader said tomorrow’s State Budget had to urgently alleviate these cost-of-living pressures that were pushing more Western Australian families into real poverty.
“During March 2022 alone, 1,466 homes had their power disconnected in Western Australia or one every 30 minutes for non-payment of power bills.
“This is by far the highest number of monthly electricity disconnections since the moratorium on power disconnections ended in mid-2021.
“A new class of people living in real poverty is being created in Western Australia with major non-for-profit organisations such as Anglicare and Foodbank now reporting a surge in the number of people seeking assistance who had jobs and mortgages and now cannot afford to pay for food and rent.
“Funds from the multi billion State budget surplus tomorrow must deliver financial relief to these West Australians who are now struggling to even keep a roof over their heads,” he said.
Dr Steve Thomas, Shadow Treasurer added that these power disconnection figures once again highlighted the need for cost of living relief in the budget.
“This relief will likely include an electricity rebate, which is a move I would welcome from the Government, but a freeze on government fees and charges would go even further to support vulnerable families” Dr Thomas said.
“The Mc-Gowan’s Government’s multibillion-dollar surplus should be urgently used to give WA families some cost-of-living relief.
“Power charges are predicted in the Budget papers to increase 1.75% next financial year which means that average electricity bill for a WA family would rise to $1,810 a year.
“With food prices, rents and interest rates expected to continue to rise, many families will struggle to pay this rise in power prices.
Dr Thomas reiterated his call for the massive surplus expected in the state budget to be put towards cost of living relief, economic reform and paying down state debt.
“Every dollar counts for families in financial hardship and that is why supporting the community must be a priority in tomorrow’s State budget” he said. “A freeze on all government fees and charges would give the greatest level of support.”