“They can’t afford to pay”: Rates rise on the cards

“They can’t afford to pay”: Rates rise on the cards

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City of Canning councillor Hardeep Singh argued that rates should not be increased.

Canning council should not be increasing its rates because of hardship being caused to residents, Cr Hardeep Singh told Tuesday night’s council meeting.

During a debate over advertising plans for council rates, he said over the past few weeks council officers had presented reasons why rates need to be increased.

“Now let me share some reason why we should not be increasing rates,” he said.

“The recent Cost of Living report prepared by the WA Council of Social Service provides us with an eye-opening account of the financial challenges faced by various household types in our region.

“I would like to share some striking figures from the report.

“The single parent family in our community is left with only $1.40 after covering their basic living expenses.

“Likewise, the unemployed single faces a weekly shortfall of $29.40 between the income support they receive and what the need is for a basic standard of living.

“The renting aged pensioner couple, despite having experienced an increase in their household income, still falls short by $25.80 to cover their living costs each week.

“These numbers are a stark reminder that Canning residents are grappling with the harsh reality whereby they are forced to make do with insufficient financial mean, barely managing to access essential goods and services required for a dignified life.

“In light of these troubling statistics I request you to consider the undeniable fact that any increase in council rates will undoubtedly increase the financial strain experienced by many households in our community.

“Such a decision will only serve to push them into the depths of financial hardship and insecurity.

“We should reevaluate our priorities as we work towards serving our community and making our region a better place for everyone to live in.

“It is crucial that we explore alternative revenue generation strategies and I am glad our team has done a lot of it,” He said.

He said the council should be sensitive to the financial difficulties of residents and strive to make a responsible and empathetic decision on their behalf.

Chief executive officer Michael Littleton said the council was working to reduce costs.

The motion to advertise plans for a 6.75 per cent rate increase was passed.