GST windfall should support struggling households, says AGL Energy

AGL Energy, the country's biggest energy retailer, has called on state governments to use a yearly GST (goods and services tax) windfall of up to $550 million to provide rebates for low-income households.

In landmark modelling obtained by the Australian newspaper, AGL Energy suggests that rapidly rising power prices could produce a GST windfall of between $400 million and $550 million a year from New South Wales and Queensland alone within five years.

According to the company, the increases could mean that 343,902 households in those states are tipped into "fuel poverty" where they will be forced to spend about ten per cent of their disposable incomes on electricity.

Calling for the rebates, AGL chief economist Paul Simshauser said: "If you accept that we have a large group of vulnerable households who will be exposed to fuel poverty, then you need to act on it and that is an important function and role of government in any society."

Consumers struggling with rising living costs could opt to compare debit cards and other money products in search of better options. This week, the Daily Telegraph reported that Australian consumers could be hit with soaring food and clothing prices under plans to severely cut water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin.

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