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By Dean Lombard.
Published on the VCOSS Voice on 29 April 2016.
Despite increasing average living standards in Australia, these benefits are not equally shared. People earning low incomes, especially those renting, experience greater cost-of-living increases and slower income growth, than people on high incomes.
Investing in activities that help low-income households reduce their costs helps protect them from predatory business practices, financial crises and other impacts such as homelessness.
VCOSS welcomes the initiatives in the 2016 Victorian Budget designed to begin addressing the energy cost impact of poor quality housing on public tenants, strengthen protections for energy customers in financial hardship, and improve support for asylum seekers and rural small business people. These programs can expanded to reach all low-income households to provide greater benefits in the future.
Banner image: “Shopping…” by Thomas Williams (Flickr).
Dean Lombard is a VCOSS Policy Advisor