Getting a rates rebate
You could get up to $640 off your rates bill.
In this section
A rates rebate is a partial refund for people who pay rates to the council.
Use the calculator to work out what you might get. It could be up to $640.
Applications for a rates rebate for 2018/19 are now closed. If you’ve already applied (either online or on a paper form) your council may get in touch for more information.
The Rates Rebate Scheme (the Scheme) assists people on low incomes to pay their rates by providing a deduction from their annual rates bill, or a refund if the rates for the year have already been paid in full.
Increases reflecting inflation have recently been made to the maximum rates rebate and the income abatement threshold:
• The maximum allowable rates rebate is now $640.
• The income abatement threshold is now $25,660.
The amount of rebate received is determined by a formula based on total household income, level of rates and the number of household dependents. Those whose income, before tax, is $25,660 or less can often claim the full amount. Those whose income is higher may still be able to get all or part of the rebate depending on their circumstances. Residents of retirement villages are entitled to apply to their local council for a rates rebate.
Scheme information, an online calculator to estimate any likely rebate, and all forms are available from the Department of Internal Affairs’ website www.dia.govt.nz. Applications for a rates rebate must be made to the ratepayer’s local council.
We hope that the Rates Rebate Scheme benefits as many of your members as possible this year. For further information about the Scheme please contact the Department of Internal Affairs on 0800 25 7887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nāku noa, nā
Manager, Operations and Implementation Services
from Grey Power Federation
22 February 2019
Grey Power has welcomed the support of media commentator Mark Sainsbury for Grey Power’s long running campaign to have an Aged Care Commissioner appointed.
NZ current affairs television presenter
Grey Power Federation President Mac Welch said, “despite many meetings throughout the country with politicians of all parties and a series of road shows over several years, an Aged Care Commissioner had yet to be appointed and the need was becoming urgent”.
“In the lead up to the last general election we held high level meetings with Labour and Greens and the final report of this tri-partied arrangement stated quite clearly the need for the appointment of an Aged Care Commissioner. The current Minister of Health stated clearly in a pre-election speech, that this office would be created in the first budget of a Labour-led government”.
“We acknowledge the assistance the media have given in the promotion of this appointment as we have put in a lot of hard work over a long period of time. The recent involvement of Mark Sainsbury is appreciated,” he said.
We wait with bated breath to see if the current government keeps its pre-election promise.
Grey Power NZ Federation Inc.
INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS FROM THE OFFICE FOR SENIORS
Winter Energy Payment
This year (and in future years) the Winter Energy Payment is paid from 1 May to 1 October.
We had many people last year telling us what a difference it made, helping them keep their homes warmer, and themselves and their family healthier.
People don’t need to apply for the Winter Energy Payment. If they’re eligible, they’ll get it automatically with their other payments. Couples and people with dependent children will get $31.82 a week and single people will get $20.46 a week.
People paid weekly will get their first payment in the week beginning 6 May. This will be a part payment because 1 May is part way through the week. This includes people getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payment, Youth Payment, Young Parent Payment and Emergency Benefit.
People paid fortnightly (NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension) will get their first payment on 14 May, which will be a full payment.
For couples getting NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension the Winter Energy Payment is all paid to one person. The system we use for payments can’t split it to pay into two separate accounts. People can switch the payment to the other person’s account by calling our Seniors line on 0800 552 002.
Seniors heading overseas over the winter months can keep getting Winter Energy Payment for up to 28 days while they’re away. People should tell us if they plan to be away for more than four weeks , otherwise we might pay them too much and have to ask for the money back.
We’re writing to people to tell them they’re getting the Winter Energy Payment, but you may also like to remind people you work with about it.
There’s more information about the Winter Energy Payment on the Work and Income website www.workandincome.govt.nz/winterenergypayment
Director, Office for Seniors
See Urgent Update
Grey Power has called on the Labour led Government to urgently honour a pre-election promise to appoint an Aged Care Commissioner.
National President Mac Welch said a report by The Human Rights Commission, that an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders were being held in secure dementia units, with another 1000 in residential psycho-geriatric facilities without their consent, could not be ignored.
The report, entitled 'This Is Not My Home', includes comments from lawyers, doctors, academics and a District Court Judge about residential care of older people when that care is provided without the person's consent.
“Situations such as this should not arise particularly in a modern western democracy,” he said.
Welch said the plight of defenceless elderly people in some residential care facilities dramatically highlighted the urgent need for the appointment of an Aged Care Commissioner.
“Labour made a firm commitment that, if elected, such an appointment would be made in the first budget”. With all parties in the coalition supporting the appointment why has it not occurred? We want the Government to honour that promise and make this urgently needed appointment.”
Grey Power NZ Federation Inc
027 490 2306
Beware of the Spark Phone Scam
Seniors are being warned to be on the alert for scammers contacting them by phone trying to trick them out of money.
Bronwyn Groot, Fraud Education Manager at the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) says a scam involving fraudsters claiming to be from Spark and the Police is on the rise, and many people have had thousands of dollars stolen.
The caller typically claims they are from Spark, claiming there is a security or internet issue with their computer or router.
They are then told they are the subject of identity theft through their emails and are transferred to a member of the “Police Cyber Crime Unit”, where they are spoken to by a person claiming to be a police officer.
The victim is then told that Police need their assistance “to set a trap to catch the criminals”. They are convinced to withdraw large sums of money – often around $10,000 to $15,000 – and given an address to post the money to or a bank account number to transfer it to.
Groot says a telco, the Police or your bank would never ask for your bank details over the phone, or ask you to send money this way. “Other red flags are if the caller pressures you with a sense of urgency, or asks you to keep the call secret,” says Groot.
“They will try to fluster you, but the best thing you can do is stop and think ‘Is this for real?’. Hang up and if you want to check, call your telco, the bank or the Police directly and ask if the call you just received was genuine.”
If you’ve been a victim of this scam, or know someone who has, contact your local police station or call the new Police reporting number, 105.
From - www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz