Families are losing more than $10,000 a year trying to maintain a basic standard of living in Queensland.
The shocking impact of the cost-of-living crisis on low-income earners, including families with one parent working full-time, is laid bare in a new QCOSS report released today.
The 2022 Living affordability in Queensland report shows couples with one-full time worker and two children, and a single unemployed parent with two children, are hundreds of dollars in deficit each week in some areas.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said many low-income earners could no longer meet a basic standard of living in Queensland, with financial stress now persistent and entrenched.
“All low-income households modelled for this report are now paying more than 30 per cent of their weekly income in rent – the level considered to trigger housing stress,” McVeigh said.
“And most of these households do not have enough income to meet any unplanned expenses or emergencies.
“This report highlights the severe financial pressure Queenslanders are under. A two-decade high inflation rate, housing stressing, and spiralling energy prices are squeezing households’ budgets beyond what people can handle.
“The growing levels of poverty community services are currently seeing is heartbreaking, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.
“We know that people on low incomes spend a higher proportion of their income on essential expenses like food, fuel and housing. They, in particular, need urgent help. People are skipping meals or medication simply to pay their bills.
“This Christmas, we call on the federal government to raise the rate of income support payments to at least $73 a day. Too many Queenslanders are living in poverty because income support is grossly inadequate. Even working families face ever-growing debt and more financial support is needed.”
The report found single, unemployed parents, and couples with two children have the biggest weekly deficits among the five modelled low-income households. Toowoomba and Cannonvale low-income earners are among the worst-off financially state-wide.
The Living affordability in Queensland report is part of an annual study undertaken by QCOSS, in collaboration with its member organisations, which models the expenditure and income of sample low-income households.