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Canberra Today 5°/8° | Saturday, September 18, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Upcoming budget focuses on covid recovery

Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

THE ACT government’s priority will be its response to covid when it hands down its budget on October 6.

Originally scheduled to be handed down on August 31, the budget was pushed back until October due to the territory’s evolving covid situation.

In today’s covid update Chief Minister Andrew Barr outlined a range of additional COVID-19 related supported measures to be included in the budget, including a $1000 utility concession.

“We will provide an additional one-off $200 increase in the utilities concession to bring it to $1000 for 2021-22 – helping the most vulnerable in our community with a significant expense throughout the year,” Mr Barr said.

“In addition to the $100 increase already announced in June, this will mean that the utilities concession for 31,000 eligible households in Canberra will increase from $700 to $1000 from last financial year to this financial year.”

Mr Barr also announced an extension to the land tax and commercial rates relief for landlords who provide rent relief to their tenants through to 31 December 2021.

Commercial landlords who offer rent relief may be eligible for a commercial rates credit of up to $10,000 (increased from $5000) at an estimated total cost of $5.5 million,” Mr Barr said.

Residential landlords providing rent relief will also be eligible for a credit on their residential land tax of up to $100 per week.

In addition, Mr Barr said the ACT government will waive rent payments until December 31 for any business and community sector tenants of government-owned properties that have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.

The ACT government will also extend the contracts for more than110 staff in the Jobs for Canberrans program.

All ACT public sector temporary employment contracts due to expire, have also been extended for a further six weeks.

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Ian Meikle, editor

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