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Social Security & Repatriation Department pensioners

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Social Security and Repatriation Department pensioners and

superannuants. who have pensioner medical service entitlement, will in future he eligible for the remission of 50% of general, water and sewerage rates. ' .

. This was stated by the Minister, for the Capital Territory, Mr Kep Enderby, today.

Mr Enderby said he had referred the proposal for the intro­

duction of a rates remission scheme to the ACT Advisory Council and had sought its advice on whether the scheme should be extended to cases of proven hardship in addition to Social Security and ’

Repatriation Department Pensioners and whether there should be a maximum on the annual amounts of rates to be remitted. · ' The Council had endorsed the proposed scheme and had recommended that it should be extended to cases of proven hardships

and that there should be no maximum. ·

Mr Enderby said he had accepted the Council's recommendations. The remission scheme in respect of general and sewerage rates will apply initially to rates payable for the financial year 1973/7L and in respect of water rates to meter reading years ending after

30 June 1973. .

For some time, pensioners and other people in necessitous

circumstances have been entitled to deferment of general rates until

the property concerned is transferred, the deferred rates being sub­ ject to interest at five per cent per annum.

. A pensioner who has taken advantage of this right can change

to the remission scheme and in doing so will not have to pay the deferred rates, which will remain as a charge against the property. In respect of general rates, an applicant will be able to elect to receive the benefits of either the existing deferment scheme or the new remission scheme but not of both.

It is estimated that the remission scheme will cost about

$70,000 a year. This will be charged to the Social Welfare vote which has been included in the tentative Territorial account and will not be a charge against the Municipal Account.

Mr Enderby said that the remission scheme was adopted after

careful consideration of submissions made to the former Minister for the Interior by himself, as Member for the ACT, the ACT branch of

the RSL, and invalid and old age pensioner associations.

7 March 1973