The Palaszczuk Government will commit $5.3 billion in next week’s State Budget to help Queenslanders’ household budgets, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“My Government knows the importance of Queenslanders having a job and being able to support their families,” the Premier said.

“The next State Budget will focus on creating jobs, delivering on key priorities of health and education, and helping Queenslanders manage the cost of living.”

“That is why we have increased the access to electricity rebates and, ahead of the State Budget, we are launching a dedicated website to ensure Queenslanders are aware of all the concessions and rebates that are available for them.

“For the 2017-18 financial year, the Government is allocating an extra $400 million for a total of $5.3 billion. That’s the equivalent of more than $1000 for every Queenslander or the equivalent of more than $100 million every week.”

“I am concerned too many people just don’t know what they’re entitled to, let alone how much they could benefit.”

Some of the less well-known concessions and loans include:

  • Rental Bond Loans provides interest-free rental bond loans, equivalent to a maximum amount of four weeks rent, for people who cannot afford to pay a full bond to move into private rental accommodation.
  • Spectacle Supply Scheme provides eligible Queensland residents with a pair of basic prescription spectacles, once every two years.
  • Home Assist Secure helps eligible people over 60, or those with a disability, with assistance to remain living in their home, either owned or rented. Free safety related information and referrals are available, plus subsidised assistance of up to $400 per household each year, to pay for critical maintenance services.

“The Smart Savings website brings together all of the Government’s many concessions and rebates into one location, making it easier for Queenslanders to find and apply for them,” the Premier said.

“Smart Savings is all about helping Queenslanders save money on everyday living expenses so they have more money in their pocket, the Premier said.

“The Smart Savings website has 16 categories of concessions and rebates. These categories cover everything from energy and transport to health and housing.

“There are a range of special discounted rates for seniors, people with health issues, young people going into training and many more.

“Queenslanders who live in regional and remote areas can also access special rebates to help ensure they’re not paying more for things like electricity, water and health care because of where they live.”

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said cost of living was an important issue for Queenslanders and these concessions and rebates can make a real difference in easing people’s financial worries.

“All Queenslanders are encouraged to check the Smart Savings website for concessions and rebates that might be available to them, apply and start saving.

“It’s not just families who will benefit.” to access Smart Savings or contact the Queensland Government call centre 13QGOV (13 74 68).

The top ten concessions by total Government spend:

  1. Electricity Rebate Scheme helps Queensland pensioners and seniors pay their electricity bill with a rebate of up to $330 per year.
  2. Vehicle and Boat Registration Concessions reduces the cost of vehicle and boat registration fees for seniors and pensioners.
  3. School Transport Assistance Scheme helps eligible families that do not have a school in their local area, or who are from defined low-income groups with school travel costs.
  4. Oral Health Scheme provides free dental care to eligible Queenslanders and their dependents.
  5. Vocational Education and Training – Certificate 3 Guarantee helps eligible Queenslanders get their first post–school Certificate III qualification to improve their job prospects by subsiding tuition fees.
  6. Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme provides financial assistance to patients who need to access specialist medical services not available within their local area. It provides a subsidy towards the cost of travel and accommodation for patients and, in some cases, an approved escort.
  7. Vocational Education and Training – Higher Level Skills Tuition Fee Subsidy subsidises the cost of tuition fees paid by students undertaking a priority Certificate IV, diploma or advanced diploma or industry endorsed skill set.
  8. Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme offers a 20% subsidy, up to a maximum of $200 per year, to lessen the impact of local government rates and charges on pensioners, thereby assisting them to continue to live in their own homes.
  9. School Transport Allowance for Students with Disabilities assists families of students with disabilities with transport to attend state school programs.
  10. Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme provides funding assistance to eligible people for a range of aids and equipment, like mobility aids, artificial limbs or vehicle modifications, to help them live at home and avoid premature or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation.