The ACT Labor-Greens Government is forcing more Canberrans below the poverty line by introducing policies that drastically increase the cost of rent, restrict housing supply, and drive up the cost of government fees and charges.
A cost-of-living report released by ACTCOSS today has revealed that over 38,000 Canberrans are living in poverty including 9300 children.
The report highlights steep increases to costs as a driving factor for high poverty rates, including:
• 27.7% increase to electricity costs over five years
• 26.2% increase to gas costs over five years
• 18.6% increase to health costs over five years
• 18% increase to education costs over five years
• 15.7% increase to housing costs over five years
Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee said it is staggering that in a city like Canberra, nine per cent of the population is living in poverty.
“This is a direct result of the Labor-Greens Government’s failure to ensure those most vulnerable in our community are able to make ends meet,” Ms Lee said.
“The cost of renting in Canberra has risen at ten times the national rate and electricity prices are up 25 per cent in five years; it’s impossible for Canberrans to keep up.
"Canberra is still the most expensive place in Australia to rent - more than Sydney or Melbourne - and it's only getting worse.
“This Labor-Greens Government like to say that they’re on the side of renters, but every year it’s their policies that make rent and utilities unaffordable.
“Every Canberran is feeling these increases in their household budgets, but for those on low incomes it is absolutely dire.
“Our crumbling public housing system is under unprecedented pressure, with 3000 Canberrans on waitlists for a place to live. There is nowhere else for these vulnerable Canberrans to go.“This ACT Labor-Greens Government is leaving vulnerable Canberrans behind and it simply is not good enough,” concluded Ms Lee.