Cost of Living Report says target support for those needing it most
Friday June 29, 2012
The QCOSS Cost of Living report released today calls for targeted assistance for those needing it the most. It also reveals that many low income households still struggle to afford a basic standard of living. And the report calls for energy and transport concessions to be extended to all Health Care Card users.
Income and expenses of three sample low income households is a key focus in the report. The households include a single parent with two children, a single unemployed person and a family with two parents and two children.
“In the last 12 months there has been some improvement in the circumstances of all three example households,” says QCOSS CEO Mark Henley. “However, two of the three households are still unable to afford a basic standard of living.
“Further targeted assistance for people on low incomes is needed. A good first step would be to immediately extend transport and energy concessions to all Health Care Card holders. This should be part of a comprehensive review of government concessions to ensure the people who need support most are getting it,” says Mark.
QCOSS continues to call for a minimum standard of living for all people in Queensland through the A Fairer Queensland campaign. This minimum standard of living means fair concessions on essentials such as transport, energy and water.
“We estimate that 10 to 12 per cent of households are struggling with a basic cost of living,” says QCOSS President Karyn Walsh. “They face tough choices every day about what to go without. Unemployed people face a particular struggle. Newstart is not enough for survival let alone providing enough resources to actively seek work.
“Affordable housing is also important to create A Fairer Queensland where no-one get left behind. Families on low incomes struggle to rent housing that is decent, secure and appropriate. A Fairer Queensland asks for an investment in 45,000 new affordable housing dwellings by 2020.
“The QCOSS Cost of Living Report shows housing affordability is a particular problem. As well is being a problem in southeast Queensland it is getting particularly worse in regions exposed to the mining boom. In areas like Mackay, Gladstone and Mount Isa there has been a massive increase in cost,” says Karyn.
Mark Henley 0448 075 087, Karyn Walsh 0413 619 785
Mark Jeffery 0419 732 583, Ian Wynne 0414 643 122