This second Cost of Living report is based on data from March 2012. Unfortunately it shows the same basic pattern from twelve months ago.
There has been marginal improvement for single parent Maria and her household. And the unemployed single person Trevor is around $4 per week better off. However, they are still unable to afford even a basic standard of living.
A recent Salvation Army survey shows the types of responses available to households that are struggling with the cost of living and need help. The survey asked people accessing emergency relief and support about the list of 26 things that no-one in Australia should have to go without. The most common response was to actually go without some of the things on the list. About 50 per cent had recently gone without meals. About 30 per cent could not afford at least one decent meal each day. Around 25 per cent did not have a telephone. And about 80 per cent reported missing
out on more than five things from the list. The other main type of response was to try to supplement income by taking on new debt, selling or pawning possessions or gambling. Financial stress was very prevalent. Only about 5 per cent of the participants had access to $500 in savings for emergency situations.
Read the full report here.