A new survey shows 28 per cent of Victorians go without household essentials and can not pay bills because their cost of living has become too expensive.
The survey of 1000 people across Australia by not-for-profit Good Shepherd Microfinance showed 26 per cent of respondents in Victoria could not pay for medical treatment they needed, 19 per cent went without food and 20 per cent could not afford home appliances in the past year.
Good Shepherd Microfinance chief executive Adam Mooney said the survey showed the urgent need to increase Newstart allowances so people could meet the costs of basic living expenses like car repairs, paying for utilities or having a pet.
‘‘The reality is that Newstart hasn’t kept up with the cost of living, which means that families and individuals are struggling with the basics,’’ Mr Mooney said.
The survey revealed the costs Victorians most struggled to afford were power bills (28 per cent), repairing or registering their car (25 per cent), education costs (eight per cent), food (seven per cent) and medical (seven per cent).
Mr Mooney said the respondents also raised the cost of fuel, rates, credit cards, rent and health insurance.
Asked when they would most likely be in a better financial position, a quarter needed to pay off debt, 14 per cent needed a job and 13 per cent wanted more hours at work.
However, 12 per cent could not see a time when things would get better.
‘‘People are trying to juggle but worry about their children going without or losing their independence,’’ Mr Mooney said.