Tenants and Community Organisations to Suffer Under Conservative Budget.
The Tenants’ Union of Tasmania is disappointed that Housing Tasmania tenants will pay more for their housing under the Labor-Greens Tasmanian Budget handed down last Thursday. Under the new rent regime, the average rent will go from about 22% to 25% of assessable income. In addition, pensioners will now pay an extra 25% of their 2009 pension increase in rent. The Tenants’ Union is concerned that some of the poorest and most vulnerable Tasmanians are being called on to pay for the budget shortfall.
According to Meredith Barton, the Principal Solicitor of the Tenants’ Union:
Whilst there are grace periods for Housing Tasmania tenants on low incomes, we are concerned that some households who are managing on meagre funds will have to find extra money for rent and electricity bills that could otherwise go on other essentials such as food, clothing and schooling.
Overall, the Tenants’ Union is concerned that a disproportional amount of pain is being felt by low-income earners and community groups while businesses and the well-off have largely been spared from the cuts.
Phil Hoffen, Administrator of the Tenants’ Union said:
The poorest residential tenants have been hit with rent increases and many community organisations have been given a small increase that will not cover the potential increase in wages resulting from the Equal Remuneration Case presently with Fair Work Australia. Are both governing parties so locked into neo-liberal economic thinking that they could not find another way to fund vital services and shield Housing Tasmania tenants from an increase in average rent? We can’t understand why a progressive government would hand down such a conservative budget.