Government’s pensioner power subsidy can be used to heat mansions

The Government’s power subsidy can be used to heat mansions, as it is available for all pensioners irrespective of means.

Rather than singling out poorer families to receive the Government’s new Winter Energy Payment, the Government is relying on wealthy Kiwis to opt out of the scheme.

The payments were officially announced as part of the Government’s families package at the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update on Thursday.

Singles with no dependents will be eligible for $450 a year to help cover their winter heating bills, while couples or singles with dependents will get $700 a year.  

All Kiwis on a main benefit, including Superannuation or a Veteran’s Pension, will be eligible for the cash payment.

But so will any New Zealander over 65, regardless of their assets, savings or income.

“We wanted to make sure it was as easy to implement and efficient to implement as possible,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said, defending the decision not to means-test.

“If somebody doesn’t believe they need it they can opt out.”

The total package will cost $1.8 billion a year.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said 1600 Kiwis die each year because of cold housing in winter, while thousands more end up in hospital.

“That’s not right, and we can do better,” she said.

Anybody who leaves the country for more than four weeks over the winter months will be ruled ineligible.

I can’t wait for OIA requests next year to find out how many voluntarily opted out. My bet it will not many, if any.

Meanwhile there is some evidence that the promised $450 is in fact a lie.

So, this Labour Winter Energy Policy.

Did you know the payment will run for just 13 weeks in the winter of 2018. So for singles with no dependents it’s $20.45 a week (advertised on the MSD website). Multiply that by 13 and you get $265.85. A long way short of the announced $450 a year.

Labour in it’s election campaign said “It’s time to ensure our families have warm, healthy housing to live in, especially in winter. Around 1,600 Kiwis die each year due to cold housing in winter. That’s four times the road toll. Thousands of Kiwis are admitted to hospital with respiratory illnesses brought on by living in houses that are too cold.”

So expect around 800 more to die next year due to cold housing in winter because this Labour government lied about their promise.

The full $450 promised doesn’t get paid out until 2019 and future years, over 22 weeks.

If you look at Treasury documents dated 14 December 2017, you will note the WEP will be implemented on 1 July 2018. In future years, the WEP will be paid from May to September.

Then take a look at Work and Income’s site. It says From 1 July 2018 (not May) a Winter Energy Payment will be available to help with the cost of heating homes during the winter.

A little further down the page it says you can get $20.45 a week if you’re single with no dependent children.

This will be paid from 1 July to 30 September 2018. (Again, not May).

It appears that not only will rich pricks be availing themselves of subsidised power, but also the government is lying about how much you can actually get.

 

-Kiwiblog, Newshub


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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