money & Banking

Courtney Allan

The new fees and charges now in place from January 1

The new fees and charges now in place from January 1

As the new year starts to kick into gear, it can be difficult to keep track of the changes that are set to occur this year. Some of these changes include:

Increased cost for PBS scheme users

Prices are set to rise 10% per prescription filled whilst on concession from 1st January 2019. An average script will go from $39.50 to $40.30.

Decrease in energy prices

Origin concession cardholders on default (standing offers) or non-discounted plans will receive an automatic 10% discount. This has been offered to customers who reside in NSW, ACT, Queensland and South Australia.

EnergyAustralia automatically apply 15% discounts on electric and gas usage for eligible concession-card customers. EnergyAustralia will also keep prices flat in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and the ACT whilst cutting prices for Queensland customers.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews stated that thousands of Victorians are eligible for a new power rebate from EnergyAustralia, Origin and AGL.

"285,000 households will benefit between $250 and $720 worth of rebates from January 1," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Increase in transport costs

Commuters across the ACT, Queensland and Melbourne face higher transport costs with fares in the ACT rising by up to 2.5% from January 5th. The increase represents two years of inflation as the price did not go up last year.

Public transport costs increase in Queensland by 1.8%, but Head of TransLink Matthew Longland said that the increase will be from 6 to 11 cents per trip on the majority of journeys.

Difficulties in obtaining a credit card 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has made it harder for credit providers to provide credit cards to customers with limits they’re unable to repay. This is part of ASIC’s new scheme which is targeting Australia’s debt problem.

ASIC measures will make it easier for consumers to cancel old credit cards. Some lenders have also offered to provide interest-free periods on new purchases.

"The new legislation will help people re-think the merits of having multiple credit cards and make it easier to cancel ones they don't need," Rate City's research director Sally Tindall said.

How will these changes impact you? Let us know in the comments!