Action on cost-of-living is urgent as demand for help soars

As part of Anti-Poverty Week, Anglicare Australia has released a report showing that demand is surging for help with food, rent and bills.

Nothing Left to Give surveyed Anglicare Australia’s Emergency Relief services. It found that:

  • All services (100%) have seen a surge in demand
  • Most services (50%) have seen demand grow by a third or more
  • Three in five services (58%) have seen changes in who needs help, such as people in paid work and parents with children
  • Two in three services (67%) say that housing costs are the biggest factor for people who need help.

“These numbers confirm what Australians already know. Living costs are spiralling. Essentials like food and transport are shooting up, and housing is more expensive than ever,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Record numbers of people are taking up second jobs. People on the lowest incomes, even those working full-time, are being priced out of their own communities by sky high rents.

“We also know that parents are struggling to give their children the best start in life. 40% of people who come to us for help are parents. This survey shows that number is only going up.”

Ms Chambers said the survey shows that charity isn’t a long-term fix for poverty.

“Our survey shows that our network is helping people – but it also shows that it isn’t a long-term answer. People are coming to us because they can’t afford basics like rent, food, and bills. What they really need is a decent income.

“The Government’s Budget is just days away. We’re calling on them to invest in housing and rent assistance for those in need, and raise payments over the poverty line.

“Without action, the cost-of-living crisis could force huge numbers of people to turn to agencies like ours for basics – like food, rent, or medicine for themselves and their children.

“More and more people can’t keep up. Instead of putting a band-aid over poverty, we should be taking it on once and for all,” Ms Chambers said.