Tax and legal advice

Rising state taxes send cost of living skyward

By Steven Cross

A sluggish mining sector is being blamed for new price hikes across WA, increasing yearly expenses by $218 on average per household.

The new financial year will introduce a series of price hikes to Western Australians, as the state government turns to consumers to prop up its sagging revenue base.

Treasurer Troy Buswell said in May that electricity and water charges have risen four per cent and six per cent respectively.

A maximum increase in gas prices of 6.4 per cent has been approved, but it will be up to gas retailers whether they pass on the full hike to customers.

Motor vehicle fees have also risen 4.51 per cent, public transport fares have increased 3.75 per cent and the emergency services levy has jumped by 7.8 per cent.

The increases are expected to cost the average household an extra $218 a year.

Mr Buswell said the hikes were necessary “because of a significant erosion of the state government's revenue base following lower than expected payroll and land tax receipts, and royalties for mineral commodities, particularly iron ore.”

Mr Buswell has flagged the possibility of other increases to fees and charges, suggesting they won't apply to households and saying they will be outlined in the state Budget on 8 August.

However, Western Australia’s Water Council has helped alleviate some of the stress by announcing bi-monthly billing for all homes in the metropolitan area.

Previously, consumers received one big bill each year.

WA Council of Social Services chief executive Irina Cattalini said more frequent and manageable water bills should help struggling households to manage their budgets.

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Rising state taxes send cost of living skyward
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