Responsible financial management results in lowest increase in household bills in 13 years

  • State Budget includes the lowest increase in household fees and charges in 13 years
  • For the average household, fees and charges will increase by two per cent in 2019-20
  • This represents the lowest increase to household tariffs, fees and charges since 2006-07
  • Electricity will increase in 2019-20 by the projected rate of inflation – 1.75 per cent
  • The McGowan Government is investing $301 million in households to fund this record low increase to fees and charges
  • Utilities concessions increased to provide for families and seniors in most need  
  • The McGowan Labor Government has delivered lower than expected increases to household tariffs, fees and charges, rising by only two per cent.

    This is the lowest increase since 2006-07, and is significantly below previous budgeted increases for 2019-20, due to the responsible financial management of the McGowan Government.

    Electricity prices were budgeted to increase by 5.6 per cent, but instead they will rise by 1.75 per cent, in line with the forecast rate of inflation, resulting in an increase of less than 10 cents per day for the average household. This is the lowest rise in electricity since 2008.

    The Emergency Services Levy will increase by 2.7 per cent, or around $8 per year, and will be used to fund the State’s fire and emergency services. This includes the Career and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service brigades, Volunteer Emergency Services units, bushfire services, the South West RAC Rescue Helicopter Service, State Emergency Service units and the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service.

    Other changes include:

    • Water charges will increase as expected by 2.5 per cent, or about 12 cents per day;
    • Standard public transport fares will increase by two per cent (rounded to the nearest 10 cents). Student fares will remain unchanged at 70 cents;
    • Overall, vehicle related costs (including registration and insurance) will increase by 2.6 per cent or around $22 per year for a typical car; and
    • There will be no increase to the cost of obtaining a driver’s licence.  

    The McGowan Government will spend $2.4 billion to continue to provide concessions and subsidies to support families and seniors in need. Electricity concessions and rebates have been increased in line with residential tariff increases, including:

    • WA Government Energy Assistance Payment ($305 in 2019-20), which is paid to all households with a means-tested concession card; and
    • Dependent Child Rebate ($320.51 for first child, $83.44 for subsequent children), which is paid to households with dependent children and a means-tested concession card. 

    Additionally, the McGowan Government offers support to households through the provision of:

    • Water consumption and services charge concessions for eligible concession card holders; and
    • The Country Water Pricing Subsidy to all regional Western Australians serviced by the Water Corporation. 

    The McGowan Labor Government has also maintained its commitment to the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme, investing $40 million to provide financial assistance and counselling services to Western Australians who are unable to pay their bills.

    For more 2019-20 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au  

    As stated by Treasurer Ben Wyatt:

    “The McGowan Government has been able to deliver the lowest increase in household bills in 13 years as a result of its responsible financial management.

    “We recognise that households have had to share some of the burden of fixing the previous Liberal National Government’s financial mistakes, but the positive results can now be felt.

    “With the Budget now officially in surplus this year the McGowan Government is in a position to provide relief to households, with the worst of the increases in household bills well and truly behind us.

    “Because of the McGowan Government’s financial management the State is now in a position to invest around $300 million in households to keep any increases as affordable as possible.

    “The decision to limit the overall increase in fees and charges comes at a cost of around $300 million, because we have been committed to keeping any increases as affordable as possible.

    “This Budget reflects our commitment to fixing the finances while also striving to make life a little easier for families.

    “We now have a budget which has delivered a rare hat-trick in financial management, a surplus, decreasing debt and some of the lowest increases to fees and charges.

    “Under the previous eight years of the Liberal National Government we saw households slugged with 90 per cent increases in electricity prices, including a massive 57 per cent rise in its first three years.

    “The previous government had a seven per cent increase in power prices planned for 2019-20, we have been able to cut it down to a more reasonable and affordable level.”

    /Public Release. View in full here.