Government must act as cost of living pressures increase

TasCOSS is calling on the Tasmanian Government to take urgent action to address soaring cost of living pressures as new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Hobart’s Consumer Price Index now sits at 6.5%, well above the national average of 6.1%. 

TasCOSS CEO Ms Adrienne Picone said according to the data it is the basic living essentials which have recorded the most significant cost increases in the past year alone, with the cost of food up by 5.3%, transport costs increasing by a staggering 16.7%, petrol a whopping 36.6% and housing up 8.9%.

“With the cost of living continuing to rise, including electricity prices up 11.9% this month, it is becoming increasingly hard for Tasmanians to afford the basics,” Ms Picone said.

“For years, Tasmanians have told us they simply want to live a good life. But right now they are telling us they are barely managing to live at all.”

Ms Picone said TasCOSS continued to call on the Government to take urgent action to help Tasmanians struggling in the face of increasing cost of living pressures.

“Some of these measures proposed include increasing funding for emergency food relief providers, the introduction of a telecommunications concession and extending the eligibility for the electricity concession to all low-income households,” she said.

“We are also calling for significant investment in household energy efficiency initiatives, permanent free bus travel for seniors, concession card holders and students and an insurance subsidy for people on low incomes.

“With the high cost of housing, immediate investment is also needed to support Tasmanians into affordable housing to ensure everyone has a safe home.

“Tasmanians need the government to do all they can to address these cost of living pressures and ensure affordable access to food, housing, clothing, health care, education, transport, energy and essential services.”

In the coming months, TasCOSS will holding statewide forums to hear from Tasmanians about the growing gap between what they earn and what they have to spend as well as their ideas about solutions they may have to address these issues.