Rate rise hits pensioners

Ralph Sharman: Not happy with the rate hike and not pleased that the new green bins means he has lost the small-bin discount he used to receive.

Ralph Sharman: Not happy with the rate hike and not pleased that the new green bins means he has lost the small-bin discount he used to receive.

Ralph Sharman, in his own words, is a “bit p...ed off” at the recent council rate hike.

The Wentworth Falls pensioner said he will find it very difficult to find the extra money.

“It’s an exorbitant increase especially when you’re on a pension,” he said. “My quarterly rates have gone up $59. Last year it was $312 and this year it’s $371. That not a fair hike when you think about it.

“This sort of increase when you’re working is water off a duck’s back – you don’t think about it. But when you aren’t working ...”

Mr Sharman acknowledged he is “fortunate enough” to own his own home, but that comes with its own expenses.

“They all have to come out of your pension and there’s not much left over at the end of the day,” Mr Sharman said. “And when you get an increase of almost $60 a quarter you have to say what’s going on.”

He also pointed out that the concession pensioners receive for their rates is $50 p.a., which has not increased in more than 25 years.

He was also concerned about being “lumbered” with a new green bin, which he didn’t particularly want and which has meant he’s lost the discount he used to receive for having small-sized garbage and recycling bins.

Mr Sharman contacted the Gazette after feeling his views weren’t being heard.

“There are a lot of pensioners in the Mountains who are screaming about this but it’s hard to have a voice.”

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