A review of State Government concessions has begun, with a new reference group formed to provide advice and identify opportunities for change.
Among the 19 concessions being reviewed are:
- $164 million worth of household concessions - Cost of Living, water, sewerage, energy, Emergency Services Levy remission and the School Card Scheme
- $70 million worth of transport concessions - public transport, drivers licence and vehicle registration
- $13 million worth of health and wellbeing concessions - SA Ambulance Cover, funeral assistance, and medical heating and cooling.
Organisations appointed to the reference group are:
- South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS)
- Council on the Ageing (COTA) SA
- Multicultural Communities Council of SA
- SA Financial Counsellors Association
- Youth Affairs Council of SA (YACSA)
- South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Network (SAACCON)
- Working Women’s Centre (WWC) SA.
The State Government provides more than $245 million worth of concessions through discounts, subsidies and rebates to eligible households and individuals on low and fixed incomes to ease the cost of some essential living expenses, such as energy bills and medical expenses.
The concessions review will explore the delivery of concessions, barriers to access, inconsistencies in eligibility, effectiveness of concessions targeting, priorities for change, and budget implications. It will also compare South Australian government concessions to those on offer around the country.
The reference group will identify change priorities for detailed modelling, and will provide advice on engagement, including potential for wider engagement later in the review process. A comprehensive public report of costed review findings will be due by summer 2023/24.
"I am acutely aware that cost of living is one of the biggest issues facing many South Australians at the moment and cost of living headlines are constantly in the news right around the country" Minister for Human Services Nat Cook said when announcing the review.
"This review is an opportunity to provide a more equitable response for South Australians facing cost of living pressures", she said, "and is also a step towards ultimately alleviating poverty in South Australia".