COUNTRY pensioners hoping for an increase to the country aged pension fuel card will have to keeping waiting despite the state government’s mid-year budget review injecting over $1 million into the scheme.
The mid-year budget review lists a $1.7m injection into the pensioner’s fuel card, putting the total government expenditure on the card at $34.7m, up from the estimated $33m in the 2023-24 budget estimate.
A state government spokesperson said the $1.7m funding injection comes from unspent funds, such as unclaimed subsidy or cardholders not claiming the full subsidy, which have been rolled over from the previous financial year.
They said the “the level of fuel card subsidy has remained the same,” and that any increases in the pensioners fuel card would need to be considered as part of the normal budget.
Opposition leader Shane Love said there were 55,000 pensioners on the fuel card and that it was last updated in 2016.
“The opposition has been calling for the card’s value to increase,” he said.
“Fuel has become much more expensive since the Liberal and National parties were in government and provided the last rise.”
Currently, the country aged pension fuel card provides eligible pensioners with up to $575 a year for fuel and taxi travel from participating providers and is funded by the state government’s royalties for regions program while being administered by the Department of Transport.
The state government’s mid-year budget review included a revised $3.7 billion surplus.
A $178m funding increase for regional transport was also announced, with $8.3m invested to in the student transport conveyance allowance, $132m invested into regional road projects and $34m into regional level crossing projects.