The average WA household will be slugged an extra $324 a year from July 1 as a result of the State Government’s changes to fees and charges.
The rising imposts were accompanied by Treasurer Mike Nahan's warning that the government needed to respond to “challenging economic circumstances” and that the state needed to start living within its “diminished means”.
According to Treasury’s representative household model, which is based on a family of four living off a single full-time income, families will pay $5224.53 in Government tariffs, fees and charges in 2015-15 – up 6.62 per cent from $4900.35 in 2013-14.
The biggest hit will come from increases to residential electricity tariffs, which will rise by 4.5 per cent from July 1, and increases in charges for water services, which will grow by 6 per cent.
The average family will pay an extra $147.29 a year as a result.
A standard two-zone Transperth fare will increase 4.8 per cent, while student fares will rise from 50c to 60c, meaning a family’s annual public transport costs will grow to $91.
Motor vehicle registration fees for a family with one car will increase by $63.08 – an increase largely driven by the abolition of the $36 private vehicle concession for motor vehicle registrations.
Driver’s licence fees will increase $2.37 for a family with two drivers.
The emergency services levy for an average metropolitan home will increase by $11, or 5 per cent.
Mr Nahan defended the increases, saying WA households would still have amongst the lowest expenditure on State Government goods and services compared to those in other jurisdictions.
WA Council of Social Services Irina Cattalini said the Budget failed to take seriously enough existing cost of living pressures, not just for utilities but housing.
“People who are on low incomes are already struggling,” Ms Cattalini said.
“And the price rises announced today go above and beyond what was promised by this government to keep rises within the CPI.”
She said housing was the WA community's biggest concern, but people in public housing faced an extra $600 a year on rent.
“There are no new initiatives for affordable housing in this Budget.
“It's actually the people on low incomes that are going to be hurting the most.”
UnionWA secretary Meredith Hammat said the Budget was tough for working people.
“It's very expensive to live in Perth,” she said.
“This Budget is only going to increase those costs.
“This demonstrates the Barnett government's lack of understanding for how difficult it is for working people in the state, how difficult it is to make ends meet.”