Santa Claus, Christmas shopping and the festive season a huge burden on many Australian families

christmas-financial-stress

Santa Claus, Christmas shopping and the festive season a huge burden on many Australian families
Whilst Australians are much better off at Christmas time than many other countries in the world, millions of families live on a financial knife-edge, according to research from the Salvation Army, which found the holiday period could throw them into turmoil.

In resent research released by the Salvation Army, almost half the people who took part said that Christmas for them is a ‘financial nightmare’.

A family with a combined income of $900 - $1000 take home pay struggles just to cover the rent, perhaps car repayments and just bare essentials to live, school their children and pay for medical expenses. Some of these parents commented that it was almost impossible to be able to put money away for gifts, which is a really hard thing for a parent.

A spokesperson for the Salvation Army said there would be over 70,000 families who will receive support from them for Christmas and the festive season and each year it seems to be getting more difficult with an increase in property prices and more people unable to find full time secure work placement.

National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics and Planning formed a partnership to develop and release the Rental Affordability Index (RAI) every six months. It is an easy to understand indicator of rental affordability applied to geographic areas across Australia. Figures from the latest Rental Affordability Index, show Sydney is at "crisis level", with the average renting household spending nearly 28 per cent of total income on the median rent of $480 a week.

It is generally accepted that if housing costs exceed 30% of a low income household’s (households with the lowest 40% of income) gross income, then that household is experiencing housing stress (30/40 rule). In the RAI, households who are paying 30% of income on rent have a score of 100, indicating that these households are at the critical threshold for housing stress. A score of 100 or less indicates that households would pay more than 30% of income to access a rental dwelling, meaning they are at risk of experiencing housing stress and probably will never be in a position to build wealth in Australia in their lifetime.

The following household types are examined in detail by the RAI:

  • Average income households

  • Family households

    • The 20% of households within the lowest household income quintile

    • The 20% of households within the second lowest household income quintile
  • Non-family households (primarily lone person households)
    • The 20% of households within the lowest household income quintile
    • The 20% of households within the second lowest household income quintile
Many families experience anxiety and a sense of desperation just to live day to day, let alone having to provide Christmas presents for their children.

In a recent poll of more than 1000 people The Salvation Army reported that seventy per cent of respondents believed the gap between rich and poor was widening, a perception supported by the Poverty in Australia Report by the Australian Council of Social Service, which found 2.9 million Australians lived below the poverty line, including 730,000 children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *