Cost of Living Pressures Worsening - Salvos
16 May 2012 at 11:55 am
Photo courtesy Salvation Army
A new Salvos poll reveals that more than half of the respondents have gone without meals to pay for other basic necessities.
In the run up to The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal at the weekend, the Salvos polled over 1,700 clients which the organisation says provided disturbing data around the huge struggle many marginalised Australians are facing.
The new poll will reveal 52% have gone without meals and 29% cannot afford a decent meal at least once a day. 59% have cut down on basic necessities and 45% are pawning and selling possessions to make ends meet.
A quarter (25%) have taken on new debt, 56% have turned to family and friends for financial help in the past 12 months, 33% can’t afford heating and over a quarter don’t have a washing machine or furniture in reasonable condition.
The Salvation Army says the new research reveals a clear snapshot of what is happening to many Australians who are in crisis.
The Salvos help over 1 million people in need every 12 months.
The Salvation Army says it polled over 1,700 clients over a 2 week period and the results are bound to surprise many.
37% can’t afford medications prescribed by their GP … the same number also can’t afford to make regular social contact with people.
Nearly half (41%) cannot provide a separate bedroom for each child over 10. 36% cannot afford to pay for children’s school outings.
Major Bruce Harmer said: “The increased cost of living has clearly meant larger numbers of Australians are now struggling to keep up with rising utility bills. Many are going without things we take for granted like nutritious food or a warm bed. Many are questioning how they will get through the winter months with what appears to be a never ending increase in the cost of living.”
“We are seeing large numbers of families – including working mums and dads – who just cannot make ends meet. A number of these people are making heartbreaking decisions about whether to feed their kids or pay their bills. Without doubt we are seeing more clients suffering from stress and anxiety than ever before.”
“The people we are seeing have issues that are increasingly more complex. They have a large number of debts.”
“All of this indicates people are becoming more and more desperate. They are taking more financial risks just to make ends meet. The stress involved is affecting whole families with relationship breakdown, substance abuse and disruption to school just some of the consequences.”
“For many of the clients who seek the assistance of The Salvation Army, things have not improved over the past twelve months. They are still struggling to forge a way forward. The ever rising cost of utilities, motor vehicle expenses and running costs, food, medical expenses, etc. is intensifying the struggle and they wonder where it will end.”
The Salvos national fundraising target this year is $81.5 million.