​Picture courtesy Anglicare Victoria website

​A new report card from Anglicare Victoria shows low-income Victorians are missing out on warm clothes, food, dental and medical treatment due to a lack of money.

The Affording the Basics Report Card measures the affordability of 24 essential items for those accessing emergency relief or financial counselling and compares the outcome to the general population.
The report card show low-income Victorians are:
  • 24 times more likely to have no warm clothes or bedding during winter; 
  • 13 times more likely to miss out on a good meal each day; 
  • 12 times more likely to forgo necessary medical treatment due to lack of money; 
  • 4 times more likely to have a leaking roof and gutters; 
  • 5 times more likely to have no secure locks on their doors and windows; and 
  • 5 times more likely to have no heating in any room of their home.
Report author Dr Sarah Wise says the cost of living has risen quickly, while government payments and minimum wage have not kept pace.

These are not luxuries that people are missing out on but basics such as food, shelter and healthcare, Dr Wise says.
Twenty-five per cent of those who took part in our survey could not afford to buy medicine prescribed by a doctor, while 53 per cent could not afford dental treatment this can have serious, long-term repercussions.

Dr Wise said it was not just adults missing out on basic essential items but children as well.

One in five parents who took part in the survey were unable to afford up-to-date school book and new school clothes for their children.

The same number could not afford to pay for school camps and excursions, leaving children from these families on the outer and deprived of important educational activities.

Low-income Victorians are also over-exposed to risk from major car or home-related incidents, with almost half unable to afford car insurance and seven in 10 unable to afford home contents insurance.

Anglicare Victoria is calling for a rise of $50 per week in Newstart Allowance and a high-level national review of affordable housing to ease pressure on low-income earners.

For further inquiries, contact: Andrew Yule on 0448 380 455 or 9412 6137 or andrew.yule@anglicarevic.org.au

To download the report and read about a single mum doing it tough, go to www.anglicarevic.org.au/news