AXING unnecessary taxes and charges were ways the state government was arresting the rising cost of living, Premier Campbell Newman told a crowd of 250 people at a breakfast meeting at the Capalaba Sports Club this morning.
Mr Newman said his hip-pocket relief “shopping list” included freezing car registration reinstating the $7000 stamp duty concession on family homes, and halving public transport ticket price rises to 7.5 per cent.
He said his public transport initiatives included free rides after nine journeys but failed to mention that deal did not extend to Redland City’s bay islands, which are not on the Translink system.
The government had also removed the $35 a tonne waste levy, frozen the electricity tariff 11 and “had a plan to reduce water bills”.
He said that plan included tapping local councils, such as Redland City, $10 per ratepayer to give water consumers an $80 water rebate.
He said the government was still reviewing ways to reduce the effects of the federal government’s carbon tax, bolster tourism and national parks programs, and make public housing more equitable.
Rock Christian Church reverend Peter Holmes told Mr Newman the cost of living was taking its toll on people who used his Capalaba-based food bank.
“In May, we had almost 1400 recipients, the largest it has been in 11 years and that number is continuing to grow because of the cost of living for families,” Rev Holmes said.
“It’s good the state is helping with household savings but a lot of these people don’t have houses and as far as I am aware there is no state funding to help people in emergencies,” he said.
Mr Newman made no promises about funding for food banks and instead said the state was “concentrating on creating economic growth and real jobs”.
Overshadowing the cost of living woes, Mr Newman said the government was faced with a $64 billion debt which would deepen to $85billion in two years even after a raft of belt-tightening measures.
“In the last financial year, if we had raised taxes to close the budget deficit, it would have cost everyone $600 extra a year in taxes,” he said.
“But this year, the budget deficit is even worse and it would be $1000 per person each year to bridge the gap.”