In recent years, a growing number of Tasmanians have found themselves in a fight for survival, battling the effects of interest rate rises, increasing rental costs and higher bills for groceries, energy, fuel and health care.
TasCOSS recognises the causes of the unsustainable rise in our cost of living are complex and partially due to forces outside the control of state governments. Many of these same forces are behind the increasing numbers of Tasmanians struggling to afford the basics.
But this does not give governments an excuse not to act. All levels of government have levers at their disposal to make a difference — the response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains a powerful example of government intervention to protect the health and financial wellbeing of the population. If they chose to, governments could intervene more strongly again.
TasCOSS’s 2024/25 Budget Priorities Statement, Supporting Tasmanians in a Worsening Cost of Living Crisis, urges the Tasmanian Government to do what any good government should do: ensure the safety and wellbeing of the population.
We make a number of evidence-based recommendations which, if enacted, would provide immediate cost of living relief to thousands of Tasmanian households, as well as put in place measures that would help to prevent more Tasmanians from struggling in the future. Based on our consultations with Tasmanians our proposals focus on issues they tell us are causing the most pain: housing, energy, food, health, transport, and digital access.
We also recommend ongoing funding for TasCOSS’s flagship lived experience initiative, the Community Voices Program, to ensure the voices of Tasmanians living on low incomes can continue to inform the design, delivery and evaluation of policies, programs and services that affect them.
Ultimately, Tasmanians are the ones forced to live with the consequences of inaction. We call on the Tasmanian Government to act now and ensure they aren’t left to fight the battle on their own.