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Support for WA families in future-focused climate package

WA families will be assisted with tax cuts and increased assistance as part of the newly announced package to put a price on carbon, the Australian Greens said today.

“Families in WA are already facing cost of living pressures and the Greens have been acutely aware of this throughout the carbon package negotiation process,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today.

“This package has been designed to minimise the financial impact on families, and assistance will be provided accordingly.

“I am pleased that assistance for low and middle income families includes both tax cuts and increase social security payments.

“Community organisations play an important role in Western Australia and it was essential for us that these organisations were supported by the climate change package.

“The package contains provision to ensure that local governments and community organisations around the state are able to upgrade the energy efficiency of community-use buildings and facilities.

“The changes to our taxation system will provide some great opportunities for people who are moving into the workforce or who work part time.

“By increasing the tax free threshold to $18,200 there will be more money in people’s pay packets, which is especially important for low income earners or people transitioning from income support to part or full time employment.

“Supporting vulnerable householders while building a clean energy future is important – and it is important to understand that it doesn’t undermine climate action if it is delivered separately through the tax and welfare system.

“One of the best ways we can support families into the future is investing in energy efficiency in homes and community facilities,” Senator Siewert concluded.

Achievements in supporting our most vulnerable people include:
- A $200 million Low Carbon Communities fund will be established to help low-income households and community groups manage rising energy costs through energy efficiency upgrades. This will be based on a proposal from social justice groups, including Uniting Care and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, brought to the table by the Greens;
- Households containing individuals with a relevant concession card and who are certified to have a medical condition or disability which would result in higher essential electricity costs are eligible for an Essential Medical Equipment Payment of $100; and
- Assistance has been designed so that rents for public housing tenants will not increase as a consequence of the assistance provided.

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