Millions of Australians suffer cost of living blow as rates hiked

Australians are already struggling with a cost of living crisis as grocery bills and fuel prices soar to new heights.

Millions of Australians have been dealt another cost of living blow, as rates were hiked by dozens of councils.

A total of 86 councils in New South Wales have been given permission by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to increase their rates above the annual peg.

This year’s rate peg allowed councils to up their rates by 0.7 per cent – but a whole host of local authorities have been given the green light to charge residents far more than that.

Some councils will be charging 2.5 per cent more than last year, but IPART said the changes were “modest”.

“The latest rate peg was determined in the low inflation environment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tribunal member Deborah Cope said.

“Since then, high inflation and global uncertainty increased councils’ costs.

“Some councils have demonstrated that without additional funds they will not be able to deliver the projects they have already consulted on and included in their budgets.

“We were careful to balance the need of councils to maintain the services and investment they had already committed to against the need to keep rates affordable for the community.”

Australians are already struggling with a cost of living crisis as grocery bills and fuel prices soar to new heights.

IPART’s rate peg takes into account the annual change in the Local Government Cost Index (LGCI), which measures the average costs faced by NSW councils, in addition to a population factor based on each council’s population growth.

Click here to see all the rate rises.

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