Every West Australian household will receive a $600 (US$430) credit towards their electricity bills as part of the upcoming state budget.
The one-off credit will be received from Nov. 1 and is expected to cover the average household’s power costs for about four months.
More than a million Synergy and Horizon Power customers will benefit.
The plan is being funded out of the recent Bell Group settlement which returned about $665 million to WA taxpayers after costs.
WA’s government had a historic stake in Alan Bond’s Bell Group, the collapse of which was the subject of a 30-year legal dispute.
“It’s only right that the Bell Group settlement funds go straight back to Western Australians,” Premier Mark McGowan said on Oct. 4 in a media release.
“It’s even more important now, as we continue on our state’s recovery from COVID-19.”
Treasurer Ben Wyatt will hand down the state budget on Oct. 8.
He is tipped to deliver a modest surplus, although not on the scale of the $2.6 billion surplus that was forecast last year for the 2019-20 financial year.
The continued strength of the iron ore price has helped to counter a decline in other revenue and significant spending on COVID-19 stimulus measures.
Wyatt said the average WA household could expect a one-off reduction of about 10 percent on their household fees and charges this year.
Taxpayers have also benefited from a freeze on electricity and water tariffs, motor vehicle-related charges and public transport charges.
“The $600 credit is expected to provide a significant boost to the economy and will support jobs, providing further impetus to the recovery already underway in Western Australia,” Wyatt said.
“This is the first time household fees and charges have decreased in 15 years.”
By Michael Ramsey