PUBLIC housing tenants face losing part of their carbon tax offset on higher rent.
The federal government has promised pensioners and other welfare recipients a supplementary payment to compensate for higher cost of living and energy bills under the carbon tax. However, the Baillieu government has refused to rule out increasing rents for public housing tenants who receive the offsets.
Tenants in public housing living on pensions and other welfare payments pay 25 per cent of their income in rent. The carbon tax offsets – $338 a year for single pensioners – are expected to begin to be paid from May, with the carbon tax coming into effect from July.
Federal Families Minister Jenny Macklin last month asked state housing ministers to quarantine the carbon offset payments so they would not be calculated as income.
Premier Ted Baillieu’s spokeswoman Kate Walshe said the state government was waiting on further information.
Opposition housing spokesman Richard Wynne said: “It would be grossly unfair… to take money that will compensate for the carbon tax out of the pockets of the lowest income people in our community.”