The administrative costs of the Special Energy Bonus have been substantially reduced after Westpac waived cheque processing and postage costs after taking responsibility for a delay in posting cheques.
Aurora’s administration of the scheme, previously estimated to cost up to $100,000, has now been reduced to only $10,000 – or less than 0.1 per cent of the total scheme value.
This means almost the entire cost of printing and posting the cheques has now been absorbed by Westpac.
Right to Information documents released by Aurora yesterday do nothing more than confirm that the delivery delay was outside the Government’s control.
The Government was repeatedly advised that cheques would be, and had been sent before Christmas.
The fact that Westpac has agreed to waive the processing and delivery costs demonstrates that they are taking responsibility.
It is absurd that Labor, who opposed this initiative at every turn, are complaining about the delivery timeframes and who said what, where, when.
The fact is, around 80,000 pensioners are getting cost of living support they wouldn’t be getting under Labor or the Greens.
It’s important to remember that the reason cheques were sent as opposed to direct credit was on the advice of Aurora, and to ensure that Pay-As-You-Go users didn’t miss out.
As a Government we understand the frustration of recipients who waited longer than expected to receive cheques. It is clear from the feedback received from pensioners that the $125 assistance is welcomed, appreciated and for many, much needed.
Unlike the former Labor-Green Government, which oversaw power price hikes of 65 per cent over seven years and which never thought to return massive energy business profits to Tasmanians doing it tough, the Liberal Government has acted to reduce cost of living pressures.