Queensland’s treasurer can’t yet say where he’ll find $54 million to pay for pensioner concessions.

Queensland’s treasurer doesn’t yet know how he’ll fund $54 million in concessions for pensioners.

The May federal budget cut $223 million from electricity, rates and transport concessions over four years.

The Newman government refused to pick up the shortfall and no provisions were made in the July state budget.

But two days later, Premier Campbell Newman changed his mind after pensioners vented their anger on talk-back radio.

On Thursday, Treasurer Tim Nicholls said he didn’t yet know where he’d find the $54 million needed this financial year. But he assured pensioners the help would come.

He said Queensland could withhold payments to the Commonwealth or recoup the money in other ways.

“I will be working through the budget documents and with treasury officials and with our federal treasury counterparts, to find the funding that will be necessary,” Mr Nicholls told a budget estimates hearing.

“We will report back through the mid-year financial and economic review on the sources of funding in order to make up the $54 million the federal government has ripped through.”