Queensland couples who rely on the age pension and rent in the private market are at the greatest risk of living in poverty compared to other seniors, according to the Queensland Council of Social Service's (QCOSS) latest Cost of Living Report.
QCOSS’ fourth Cost of Living Report – Special Edition: The cost of living and age pensioner households was released today as part of the Queensland Government’s Seniors Week, and draws attention to one of the biggest issues facing aging Queenslanders today.
State and federal governments assist age pensioners by providing base pensions and allowances and through delivering a range of targeted rebates, concessions and subsidies. While there is no doubt that these initiatives have a positive impact on age pensioners, as demonstrated in the previous figures, QCOSS is concerned that the allowances, rebates, concessions and subsidies provided to age pensioners are not sufficient to keep pace with increases in the cost of living, and especially the cost of essentials.
Evidently, those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum are battling to meet a basic standard of living, especially those who are renting in the private market. With almost half of our renter households’ budgets taken up with rental costs and the average price of rent increasing by $10 per week for our single renter, it is clear that action is needed to assist age pensioners who are unable to afford appropriate housing in the private rental market.
Based on the analysis in this report, QCOSS has a number of recommendations to improve access to affordable and appropriate housing and utilities for people relying on the age pension.