Posted on 31. May, 2012 in News

Victorian families will be slugged with higher water bills under a secret tax hike by the Baillieu Government, Labor Spokesman for Water John Lenders said today.

The Baillieu Government has secretly increased the Environmental Contribution Levy that water authorities must pay by 67 per cent or $47.3 million, with this cost then passed on to consumers.

The extra cost could mean water bills jump by an extra $56 a year per household.

“Ted Baillieu’s secret tax hike will hit Victorians hard,” Mr Lenders said.

“The cost of living is rising and this increase in water bills will put even more pressure on families struggling to cope with increasing utility prices.

“This secret tax hike is nothing more than a cash grab by the Baillieu Government to boost their budget surplus.

“The Minister for Water, Peter Walsh, has failed to provide an explanation to taxpayers about why he is imposing this tax hike. It appears the Government was hoping Victorians wouldn’t notice their water bills were increasing.”   According to the 2012/13 Victorian State Budget papers, the levy will rise sharply from $70.2m in 2012/13 to $117.5 in 2013/14 – a 67 per cent increase.

The budget fails to outline any new asset projects that would justify the levy, let alone such a sharp increase to $117.5 million.

“There are 2.1 million households in Victoria, and this secretive Baillieu Government tax will cost households an extra $56 a year on top of their already increasing water bills,” Mr Lenders said.

“Ted Baillieu was elected on the promise that he would reduce the cost of living for Victorian families, but after 18 months the Coalition has clearly broken this commitment.”


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