Service NSW Centres will soon become one-stop shops for NSW Government cost of living support, providing more people access to hip pocket measures such as energy bill relief, free car registration, Active Kids vouchers and lower Green Slips.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to announce that NSW Budget 2018 will include funding to allow Service NSW Centres to become one-stop shops for customers to save hundreds of dollars.
There are currently more than 40 cost of living programs provided by the NSW Government across more than 12 separate agencies. The new service will provide one point of contact for customers wanting to find out what savings they are eligible for and to also apply for those savings.
“The NSW Government understands the cost of living pressures faced by families and individuals and we want to make it as easy as possible to save money,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Individuals and families already have access to a range of Government cost of living programs including the energy bill relief, Active Kids vouchers, cheaper Green Slips, free rego through the Toll Relief program and the FuelCheck app.
“This service will give customers across NSW access to individually tailored one-stop shops through Service NSW to make it hassle-free to claim these as well as other programs such as seniors discounts or early childcare costs.”Mr Dominello said: “Customer research conducted by Service NSW showed that 58 per cent of customers were not aware of what cost of living programs existed and 80 per cent said they would like help to understand what they could be eligible for.
“Customers will be able to access the service through a face-to-face interview in Service NSW Centres, via a dedicated hub on the Service NSW website, and over the phone.” This new service will be piloted from July across Service NSW Centres in Wynyard, Lismore, Parramatta, Taree and Wetherill Park. Findings from the pilot will inform a state-wide rollout later this year.
A typical Sydney family with two children could be eligible for savings of more than $1500, including energy rebates, active kids vouchers, CTP savings through a premium reduction and refund, and free rego through the Toll Relief Program. A couple who are receiving the aged pension could be eligible for almost $2000 in savings through energy rebates, CTP savings, appliance replacement program, pensioner water rebate, low income household rebate and free rego for pensioners. Mr Perrottet said the NSW Government’s upcoming Budget would again show the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to alleviating cost of living pressures for families.
“We are committed to alleviating cost of living pressures for families which is why we have made this multimillion dollar investment in the Budget,” Mr Perrottet said. “Thousands of families already access our cost of living programs, but sometimes it helps to have someone talk through what you may be eligible for and make sure you don’t miss out.”
Cost of living support provided by the NSW Government includes:
· Around 382,000 Active Kids vouchers worth a total of $37.8 million redeemed by parents, with Gosford, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Liverpool and Campbelltown among the areas with the highest uptake rates;
· 1.54 million policyholders claiming $88 million in CTP refunds, with Blacktown, Baulkham Hills, Kellyville, Glenmore Park and Auburn among the suburbs with the highest uptake rate;
· 220,000 drivers downloading the FuelCheck app; and
· Up to 100,000 drivers eligible for free rego from 1 July under the Toll Relief Program.