For many people on low incomes, cost of living pressures have improved slightly in the last six months. However, our findings continue to show that many low income households are still unable to afford even a basic standard of living.
The data shows that while the situation has improved for all three households, the single mother household and the unemployed person are still unable to afford a basic standard of living. The main contribution to the improvement is from a rise in income.
For most workers there was an annual increase in work income on July 1st, and income support payments had a half-yearly update in late September. Before these increases in income, the cost of living situation for the households would have been similar to March 2011 since weekly costs have remained basically the same. In particular, both food costs and rent were largely unchanged over the last six months.
Several small increases in other items were then offset by falling car transport costs. Trevor the unemployed person had the least improvement in cost of living because his income was only slightly increased (from indexation of Newstart) and because he is reliant on public transport where costs certainly have not fallen.
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