Recognising the financial pressures faced by families, the Government continues to focus on new initiatives to ease the cost of living. These new initiatives complement measures from last year’s Budget.
New initiatives include:
- the new Creative Kids Rebate to provide families with a $100 voucher per school aged child, for extra-curricular activities including music, drama, visual and performing arts, coding and language classes. This complements the existing Active Kids $100 Voucher, announced in last year’s budget, which has been a resounding success with over $38.0 million in vouchers claimed by parents
- establishing an online “one-click energy switch” service through Service NSW, which will allow consumers to find and switch to the best alternative energy deals in the market establishing the Service NSW cost of living service – a one-stop shop, available in Service NSW centres, online or over the phone, to promote easy access to available rebates and concessions across government
- reducing ten of the top parking fines issued by State Government agencies by 25 per cent, ensuring that fines balance fairness and deterrence
- reducing caravan motor vehicle weight tax by 40 per cent, making caravan registration cheaper for families
- extending universal education access to preschool for three-year-olds, making NSW the first state in Australia to do so, providing an average saving for families of $825 dollars a year from 1 January 2019.
These new initiatives support existing cost of living programs including:
- the Energy Affordability Package, providing up to 20 per cent increase to energy rebates from 1 July 2017 including the the Low-Income Household Rebate, the Family Energy Rebate, the Gas Rebate, the Medical Energy Rebate, the Life Support Rebate, and the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance
- reducing the cost of Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Green Slips for vehicle owners, including a refund for some vehicle owners
- the Toll Relief Program, which eases costs for frequent toll road users by providing free vehicle registration to owners of privately registered light vehicles that spend $25 or more per week on tolls, on average, over a year
- limiting opal fare increases to CPI only, with the Gold Opal to be capped at $2.50 for all day travel, from July 2018. About 500,000 New South Wales pensioners save an estimated $33.0 million a year by using the Gold Opal card compared to a regular concession fare cap
- transfer duty relief and first home buyer grants for first home buyers.