When Kirsty Parkes in Sydney began her community service last August, about two or three dozen people would come to pick up free food every day, according to a report compiled by Australia's Tasmanian Chinese Network. Now, the food bank feeds an average of 5 people a day.
"The rising cost of living has affected a lot of people," Parks said recently, "and we've seen the consequences firsthand, and it's absolutely insane." Many people here are already struggling with housing, rent, and living bills. How many of them will be homeless? One of our regulars is now sleeping in his car and I don't know how to help him. ”
This is the most prominent end of Australia's cost-of-living crisis, with skyrocketing house prices, electricity, food and fuel prices destroying those who can't afford it and changing the composition of the people receiving benefits.
Ron Fletcher was a former staff member for the Salvation Army. In his opinion, the impact of the cost of living is becoming "very bad". "As prices gradually rise by 6%, 7%, 8%, pensions will rise by 2%. Sooner or later Australians will not be able to afford it. ”
At the same time, the Rev Bill Crews Foundation, which now offers 1600,<> free meals a day, is getting longer. Moreover, the recipients are no longer just the original homeless population, but also those living in social security housing and receiving subsidies, the "working poor", and children and mothers fleeing domestic violence. "We have more or less gone from feeding the homeless to feeding the hungry," the foundation said. ”
As things stand, Australian Federal Finance Minister Jim Chalmers has repeatedly said the upcoming budget will help ease the cost of living for the most vulnerable. He also said the government could not take all measures immediately, but he wanted to avoid exacerbating inflation.