Seniors compo to be ‘wiped out’

Source: Shutterstock.

Photo: Source: Shutterstock.

The carbon tax will more than wipe out any compensation provided to seniors, the nation's peak lobby group for over 50s warns.

National Seniors says mature South Australians are continuing to be “belted” by the increases in power costs.

Average utility bills were set to rise by $665 from yesterday (Sunday, 1 July 2012).

While the carbon tax is only directly responsible for $76 of that increase, National Seniors chief executive, Michael O'Neill, tells AdelaideNow much financial pain was being inflicted on vulnerable people, who were already dealing with one of the highest costs of electricity in the world.

“This price hike will wipe out advance carbon tax compensation payments made to retirees in the past few weeks,” he said. “It's one step forward, two steps back at the moment.”

However, Mr O'Neill welcomed the Essential Services Commission of South Australia's decision to investigate whether retailers are demanding consumers pay too much for network upgrades to the power grid.

"We can't help but feel that someone is passing the buck, and, as a result, consumers are paying through the nose," he said.

The increase has been attributed to the solar feed-in tariff scheme on network prices, other rises in charges, and the carbon tax.

Complaints to the Ombudsman's office also have jumped to record monthly levels of 1,221 new cases a month this year - compared with 727 a month two years ago.