Rent loophole annoys State
EMERALD residents living in social housing are unknowingly exploiting a loophole in the system which allows them to pay a fraction of the rent required because the Federal Government benefits they receive are not deemed to be assessable income.
Queensland legislation requires those living in taxpayer-funded social housing across the state to pay 25% of their assessable income towards rent.
However, the former State Government relaxed social housing criteria resulting in more than 100 federal benefit payments being exempt from being considered as income, costing the government more than $100 million annually. Of the 392 households in Emerald afforded social housing only nine pay the full 25% of their income towards rent.
Twenty pay less than 10%.
Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk, said he was shocked when he learned the full extent of welfare benefits deemed not to be income.
Mr Mander said he believed the 25% contribution level towards their taxpayer-funded housing reasonable.
""I believe there has been a far too generous application of these exemptions," he said.