Thursday, August 03, 2006

do you want a rates rebate? Go on a benefit

The Government has decided to give low income people a rates rebate
The maximum rebate is $500, but you pretty much have to be on a benefit for a year and and have a house valued over $350,000 to qualify. Meaning to get a rates rebate someone else has to work for your money.

The blurb is great. " More people than ever before will be eligible for the rebate."

Problem was, that nobody was eligible earlier this year because the income threshold was just $7,400 - which is less than the unemployment benefit for an 18 year old. So they increased the income threshold to $20,000, which is less than the invalids benefit for a married couple. In some instances, if you are earning up to $28,000, have an expensive house and lots of kids, you may be entitled to a rebate.

But then, how would you meet the mortgage payments? Only low income people, without kids, who own their own home freehold would be likely to qualify. Such as those on National Superannuation, if they have a $400,000 house.

If you are earning 28,000, you would have to be paying $1500.00 a year in rates and have two kids to even get a $18.00 annual rebate. This means your house would have to be worth over $350,000. If you are earning above $28,000, you most likely will not be entitled to any rebate at all - unless you have a million dollar property and earn less than $30,000, in which case you are probably facing a mortgagee sale because you can't pay the mortgage.

I wouldn't be surprised if this scheme costs more to administer than any rebates given.

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