Since 2000, Shoalhaven pensioners have been offered an interest-free grace period, allowing them a year to pay their rates without any penalty.
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This popular provision is on the chopping block.
As of July, council will implement a new computer system, a system that does not allow for this grace period to be applied without “significant manual processing”.
At an extra ordinary council meeting on Tuesday night, Shoalhaven City Councillors will discuss the way forward for pensioners.
Council’s recommendation suggests the removal of the interest-free grace period, with the proviso there is additional support available to pensioners who are experiencing hardship.
Pensioners would need to apply to be deemed suitable for the hardship waiver.
Last financial year, about 2,000 or 19 per cent of pensioners took advantage of the interest free period, and 605 pensioners had not made a payment by the end of May.
Councillor Mitchell Pakes expects a heated debate at the extra ordinary meeting.
“Pensioners are most vulnerable people in community,” he said.
“And council’s going to start slugging them interest.”
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