RESIDENTS HIT WITH RATE RISE
Special report on Western Downs Regional Council's budget.
SINGLE mother Trish Little spends her mornings looking after her grandson, her days selling cars in Chinchilla and her nights worrying about how she will keep food on the table for her 16-year-old son.
She said now Western Downs Regional Council was raising her rates by 2.6%, she was also contemplating fitting in a second job.
The WDRC 2014/15 budget handed down on Friday slugged home owners with the increase in rates, the equivalent to an extra $24/year for the average residential property.
This was the latest blow to families after it was announced they would already be left out of pocket with cuts to family tax benefits in the Federal budget.
Ms Little said her struggle to keep up with everyday expenses was about to get a lot more dire.
As a sales consultant at Southern Cross Ford, she said she relied heavily on her never-assured commission to “push through the never-ending bills”.
“We don’t have any luxuries in our house,” she said.
“Already it’s a struggle to keep up with the cost of living and that doesn’t leave much in the kitty for anything else.”
“With this increase, I’m really going to have to work out how we’re going to live.”
Mayor Ray Brown said he thought the budget was “extremely responsible”.
“No-one likes to see a rate increase but I would have thought 2.6% was a very good outcome.
“In fact it is probably one of the lowest we have ever brought down in a budget that I can recall.”
BALANCING THE BOOKS: Trish Little worries about how she will provide for her son, Kane, after being hit with the latest WDRC rate rise.