The Housing Minister must explain why Tasmanian pensioners in public housing have been charged an extra $130,000 in rent over the past nine weeks.
In July, the Minister announced an end to the rent holiday for public housing tenants - meaning that the $30 extra pensioners received from Kevin Rudd in 2009 would be factored into rent calculations from August 1.
But instead of calculating that rent as a rate of up to 25 per cent, as it does with other Centrelink income, Housing Tasmania has been taking 33.3 per cent of this money.
Pensioners have had no clear answers from the Minister as to why they have been charged a flat $10 extra per week for the past nine weeks, instead of the $7.50 it should be if calculated at 25 per cent.
Pensioners across the state have been hit hard by the skyrocketing cost of living, including rising water and sewerage costs and power bills. Some pensioners in public housing have had four rent increases over the past 12 months.
Every dollar available to a pensioner struggling to meet increasing costs of living on a fixed pension is important.
The Minister must answer these basic questions, and if there has been a mistake made in the calculations, she should commit to repaying pensioners the money she has ripped from them.