Rate rise 'will hurt the poor'

LOW income earners living in the Holroyd community will be hurt the most if a rate rise is approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Holroyd Council voted at its last meeting to apply for a "special variation" to its rates — asking the tribunal to approve a maximum rate increase of 9 per cent for four years and a maximum of 8 per cent for one year. If the tribunal approves the application ratepayers could pay an extra $328 a year.

A council spokeswoman said the special variation would help with the upkeep of essential infrastructure.

"It would mean the council could continue to provide our community with the services and infrastructure they need at a time where the community's size and needs are growing and the city's assets are ageing," she said.

However, Salvation Army community services co-ordinator Don Jenkins has asked councils to consider low income earners first.

"Both high and low income earners will be affected," he said. "The rate increases will put pressure on services; not only will the Salvation Army come under pressure but also other organisations in the council area."

A special rate variation survey polled 2896 residents and 64.2 per cent voted for a rate increase.

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