Anglicare Australia launches Cost of Living Index: JobSeeker increase is urgent as payments fail to cover essential costs

Anglicare Australia has today released its Cost of Living Index, showing that people living on Centrelink Payments can’t afford essentials like rent, food, and transport.

The Anglicare Australia Cost of Living Index shows that:

  • A family of four with two parents on payments can’t afford essential expenses, falling short by $386 a week
  • A single parent on the Parenting Payment falls behind by $262 a week
  • A person on JobSeeker living in a sharehouse falls behind by $69. They could not afford to move out of shared accommodation.
  • Housing is the biggest living cost facing households, with average rents rising by more than 50% since 2020. All calculations include the highest rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

“These numbers confirm what Australians already know. It has never been harder to live on JobSeeker and other Centrelink payments, with living costs spiralling and rent costing more than ever,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“That’s why Anglicare Australia has been calling for years on the Government to raise the rate of Centrelink payments above the poverty line. These payments have been too low for too long, trapping people in poverty instead of helping them escape it.

“Centrelink payments simply do not cover the costs of essentials, like food and rent. That means people are being forced to skip meals, avoid medical care, and cram their families into overcrowded homes. Some are being pushed into debt spirals just to keep up with everyday costs.

“These numbers show us that Australians doing it tough need real action, and real leadership. That means raising the rate of Centrelink payments, ending unlimited increases, and building more social housing.

“We must raise the rate of these payments. Without action, people will be pushed even deeper into hardship, poverty and homelessness.”