living_cost

Pages tagged "living_cost"

  • NSW Budget Delivers Hip Pocket Savings Boost

    The NSW Government’s popular Cost of Living Service is being expanded as part of the 2021-22 NSW Budget.

    $6.6 million in funding will help customers right across the state to access the full range of benefits available to them from the service and a further $7.6 million from the Department of Customer Service will be redirected towards upgrading the service.

    Service NSW will also hire extra staff, which will allow for up to 500 customers a day to benefit from the service. 

    This means that potentially every minute someone will save up to $600 per appointment.

    This support will make it easier for customers to find and apply for government rebates and savings, access personalised support with face-to-face appointments gradually resuming from 1 July.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said easing the cost of living for households remains a top priority for the Government in the 2021-22 NSW Budget.

    “There are up to 70 savings offered by the Government, and more than $4 billion has been collectively saved by families since the program commenced in July 2017,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “Service NSW is a one-stop shop that takes the hassle out of finding savings by putting all the relevant information under the one roof.”

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said this year’s Budget would continue to drive our economic recovery from COVID by ensuring more people had money in their pockets to spend on the things that matter most to them.

    “This increased investment will give more people the support they need to help them create a better future for themselves and their families,” Mr Perrottet said.

    “A simple appointment could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Whether it is Active Kids vouchers, energy rebates or Toll Relief, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth of savings out there to help make life that little bit easier.”

    Minister for Digital and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said specialised staff are on hand to do the heavy lifting for customers.

    “Gone are the days of having to visit multiple websites and waste time calling different agencies. Our specialised one-stop shop staff can help customers identify their eligibility for savings and help them claim them,” Mr Dominello said.

    “There have been 70,000 cost of living appointments since July 2018, with the average saving per appointment almost $600, which means more money being spent on the things that matter most.

    “As the popularity of this program continues to grow, Service NSW will ensure more staff are made available to best support NSW residents.”

    Examples of other savings available include pensioner travel vouchers, Low Income Household Rebate and the Regional seniors travel card. 

    For more information, visit: www.service.nsw.gov.au.

  • Edmondson Park Service NSW Centre A Step Closer

    Edmondson Park residents will soon have access to a ‘digital-first’ Service NSW Centre in the heart of the community, with the location now locked in.

    Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons said a lease has been signed to establish the new Service NSW Centre within the Ed.Square complex in Edmondson Park.

    “This Service NSW Centre will make a real difference to the community when it opens in the second half of this year,” Mrs Gibbons said.

    “The Centre will make it easier for locals to access hundreds of NSW Government transactions in one convenient location, including driver testing.”

    Edmondson Park is the fourth of 10 new Service Centres to be built in some of the fastest growing parts of Sydney, and the 111th Service Centre across NSW. It will feature modern facilities with additional staff available to help customers on self-serve touch screens or to complete a transaction over the counter.

    Minister for Customer Service and Minister for Digital Victor Dominello said: “People go to Service NSW to get their first vehicle registration, driver licence or a Seniors Card. They can also apply for birth, death or marriage certificates.”

    “Service NSW is also a gateway to up to 70 government savings and incentives that help ease the cost of living, including Toll Relief, Active Kids  and Creative Kids vouchers, and energy rebates.”

    Further information on Service NSW is available at www.service.nsw.gov.au

  • New Energy Savings Targets To Cut Bill Costs

    Billions of dollars in bill savings for homes and businesses are up for grabs, with the NSW Government taking the State’s energy savings targets up a notch.

    Energy Minister Matt Kean said the ambitious increase to the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) aims to reduce energy consumption in NSW by encouraging consumers to invest in energy savings projects like LED lightbulbs and more efficient air conditioning systems.

    “Since 2009 the ESS has supported the roll-out of projects that, over their lifetimes, will deliver about 32,500 gigawatt hours of energy savings and more than $6 billion in bill savings for consumers,” Mr Kean said.

    “Raising the annual energy saving targets from the current 8.5 per cent to 13 per cent by 2030 will ramp up those savings – injecting an additional $1 billion into the State’s economy and delivering a $2.4 billion boost to bill savings.”

    Mr Kean said the enhanced scheme is also good for tradies, supporting more than 1,600 jobs across the State.

    “Increased targets will mean more opportunities for the hundreds of small businesses that install energy savings services across the State,” Mr Kean said.

    Residential customers who change 20 halogen downlights to LED downlights can save up to $210 a year on energy costs.

    For businesses, upgrades to lighting, and the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system in a medium-sized commercial building can deliver total cost savings of around $290,000 per year.

    For more information on the Energy Saving Scheme go to: https://energysaver.nsw.gov.au/business/discounts-and-incentives/about-energy-savings-scheme

  • Stamp Duty Exemptions Help Thousands More First Homebuyers Turn The Key On Aussie Dream

    More than six thousand additional first homebuyers have gained a foothold on the property ladder in just six months following the NSW Government’s decision to provide additional relief on stamp duty and help boost the economy and jobs.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the latest data indicated the great Australian dream of home ownership remained strong, with the total number of stamp duty exemptions and partial concessions granted rising 30 percent over the year, from more than 31,500 in 2019 to more than 41,000 in 2020.

    “We all know how challenging 2020 was and our suite of COVID-19 support and stimulus measures – the largest of any state or territory – has helped cushion the worst economic impacts of the pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “Additional stamp duty relief has delivered the twin benefit of helping more people achieve their dream of homeownership, while continuing to boost the economy.”

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Government’s continued focus on housing affordability had seen first home buyers as a share of the total owner occupier residential market increase from below 15 percent in 2016 to around 30 per cent.

    “Stamp duty is a significant financial barrier to those buying a first home and this program has helped thousands of people go from renters to homeowners without saving for years to pay stamp duty,” Mr Perrottet said. 

    “Record low interest rates are putting upwards pressure on prices, but it’s clear if we can lower the financial burden the dream of home ownership burns as strong as ever.”

    The total value of stamp duty concessions and exemptions granted by the NSW Government increased from $485.9 million in 2019 to $559.7 million in 2020.

    Under the temporary changes the cap on the value of new homes at which stamp duty exemptions apply increased from $650,000 to $800,000, with concessional duty applied on higher values before phasing out at $1 million.

    For vacant land purchases, the threshold for an exemption increased from $350,000 to $400,000 with concessional duty rates applying on purchases up to $500,000.

    This additional relief will remain in place until July 31, 2021.

    In the five months following the changes - from August to December 2020 -  the number of stamp duty exemptions and concessions granted topped 21,436, compared to 14,967 in the same period in 2019.

    According to NSW Treasury stamp duty adds about $34,000 to the upfront cost of buying the average NSW home.

    It now takes around 12.6 years compared to 8 years in 1990 for the average person to save for a deposit. 

    Stamp duty was introduced to NSW in 1865 and has continued for more than 150 years. 

    On 1 July 2019, NSW became the first state in Australia to index stamp duty brackets to the Sydney Consumer Price Index, to limit the taxation cost due to inflation.

  • Business Registrations Open For Dine & Discover

    Eligible businesses across the state can now register to take part in the NSW Government’s major economic stimulus program, Dine & Discover NSW.

    The program will create an economic boost for dining, arts and tourism businesses, which have been impacted by COVID-19, and encourage customers to get out and about safely.

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet encouraged businesses to register and get ready so they can hit the ground running when the program goes live.

    “We’ve heard loud and clear just how tough it has been for businesses across NSW. This program will reinvigorate local economies and provide customers with hip pocket relief,” Mr Perrottet said.

    “Encouraging people to support local businesses in a safe way through this program will provide an important boost for the state.”

    Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said Service NSW is launching a specialised app for participating businesses, so they can scan and track voucher usage over the life of the program.

    “After applying online, NSW businesses will be able to track the progress of the application through their MyServiceNSW Business Profile. Business owners will then receive a step-by-step process on how to get ready,” Mr Dominello said.

    “With a high uptake of the vouchers expected across the state, the Business Profile provides one, easy to use location for businesses to stay on top of voucher transactions.

    “Businesses will be automatically paid typically within 5 business days for the value of vouchers redeemed.

      “All eligible businesses will receive an email from Service NSW with details on how to register. I also urge residents to do yourself a favour and download the Service NSW app now in anticipation of the rollout.”

    Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the program would be a boost for small businesses after a challenging time.

    “We want people to get out there, support their local businesses and get spending,” Mr Tudehope said. 

    “The program will be rolled out in a few steps to ensure a seamless customer experience.

    “Phase one will include a pilot at The Rocks and in Broken Hill in early February. The pilot will then be expanded to the Northern Beaches, Sydney CBD and Bega Valley Shire Council, which is expected to commence in late February.

    “The findings from the pilots will inform the state wide rollout, expected to commence in March, that will run until 30 June 2021.”

    Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total, to spend in participating businesses. The vouchers will be divided into two categories:

    • Two $25 vouchers to be used for eating in at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs from Monday to Thursday, excluding public holidays.
    • Two $25 vouchers to be used for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues, available 7 days a week, excluding public holidays. 

    The vouchers can only be used within businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe.

    For more information on Dine & Discover NSW business registration and eligibility, visit www.nsw.gov.au

  • New CTP Scheme Continues To Drive Down Green Slip Prices

    NSW vehicle owners continue to reap the benefits of the State Government’s overhauled CTP Green Slip scheme, with new data revealing Green Slips are at a decade low.

    Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the new scheme, which came into effect on 1 December 2017, has delivered cheaper Green Slips, faster benefits to injured road users, cracked down on fraudsters and eliminated insurer ‘super profits’.

    “The new scheme has been a big win for vehicle owners – drivers have gone from paying some of the highest premiums in the country, to now paying some of the lowest,” Mr Dominello said.

    “The average driver now pays $486, a saving of $149. Under the old scheme premiums reached a record high of $635 for the average NSW vehicle owner and would have continued to grow.

    “Don’t be complacent. Do yourself a favour – go online to Green Slip Check and shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.”

    Mr Dominello also said that insurer Youi will be entering the CTP market today, making them the first insurer in more than 20 years to be granted a licence to offer CTP insurance in NSW.

    Youi’s entrance into the market will boost competition and brings the total number of CTP insurers to six.

    Green Slip Check can be accessed at https://www.greenslips.nsw.gov.au/price-check

  • New Service NSW Centres Open In Revesby And Engadine

    More people can now complete hundreds of NSW Government transactions and access cost of living support online and face-to-face, thanks to the opening of two new Service NSW Centres.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government is on its way to opening a further 10 Service NSW Centres in Sydney, with Revesby and Engadine being the first to open. 

    “These new one-stop shop Service NSW Centres in Revesby and Engadine put the customer first. Gone are the days of waiting in line for hours to be served,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “Whether it’s renewing your vehicle registration or driver’s licence, or applying for a Seniors Card or marriage certificate, these Centres will save customers time.

    “Service NSW is also a gateway to up to 70 NSW Government Cost of Living savings and rebates, including Energy Switch, Creative Kids and Active Kids vouchers. Customers can also access nearly 1000 NSW Government transactions at Service NSW centres. Locals will be able to make an appointment with a Cost of Living Specialist who can help them identify potential savings. The average saving so far is $575.”

    Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said both centres feature a modern ‘digital first’ design with additional staff available to help customers on self-serve touch screens, or to complete a transaction over the counter.

     “We’re turbocharging the customer experience to make life easier for people,” Mr Dominello said.

    “Customers have quickly embraced the new Centres, with more than 3000 people visiting them since 28 August.

    “There are now 109 Service NSW Centres across the State, as well as four Mobile Centres that cater for customers in remote and regional areas.”

    Eight more Service NSW Centres will be delivered across Sydney by 2023 as part of an election commitment. They include Merrylands, Randwick, Northmead, Glenmore Park/Edmondson Park, Roselands and Schofields.

    Between 2017 and 2019 24 Service Centres were opened across regional and remote NSW as part of a $20 million expansion of the network.

    Revesby Service Centre is located at 38-42 Marco Avenue, Revesby. It is open from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am – 12:30pm on Saturdays.

    Engadine Service Centre is located at Shops 7-10, Engadine Town Square Shopping Centre, 1040 Old Princes Hwy. It is open from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am – 12:30pm on Saturdays.

    Further information on Service NSW is available at www.service.nsw.gov.au