Cost of Living
Chris Thomason, Lay Chaplain
The Lucky country, but are we?
At the Second Session of the Fifty-First Synod of the Diocese of Perth, an amended motion was put forward in my name. The original motion, motion 17.12 can be found in the Synod business papers1 on page 13. The amendment was an increase of $2 in the amount sought, from $76 to $78 because the cost of living has continued to rise since the motion was submitted. When speaking to the motion I gave the following example, based on the income of a single adult person.
- The average weekly income for an adult is $1,838.10.2
- The National Minimum wage is $882.80 per week.3
- The JobSeeker payment for a single adult with no dependents is $374.60 per week4. The maximum amount of Federal rent assistance is $92.40 per week.5
- This means you can get a maximum of $467 per week as a single adult.
REIWA lists the average rental property as $460 per week for a 1-bedroom unit leaving $7 a week to live on6, pay utilities, food, vehicle, and other living expenses, let alone money for training or upskilling opportunities to make yourself more competitive in the job market.
The motion was passed in the amended form and calls on all Anglicans to take action. Specifically, for Parishes to write to their federal member of parliament to advocate for a permanent rise in JobSeeker and other support payments, to a minimum of $78 a day; still below the minimum wage. The suggested rate is only $546 per week. ACOSS (raisetherate.org.au)
You can also advocate for change as an individual. Anglicare WA has information on our website about how to call for fair and effective Government policies and Advocate for Change (anglicarewa.org.au). Please assist us, in assisting those struggling.
Last month I attended an Anglicare WA Service Managers conference and they agreed that whilst permanently raising the rate will not fix all problems it is the most obvious solution and will go a long way to making a lasting improvement in millions of lives. The consensus amongst the Service Managers was, that two things will make a substantial difference:
- Having adequate public housing, and
- A permanent increase in income support payments.
At Anglicare WA we believe the full impact of this cost-of-living crisis has not yet hit home. We are seeing many people every day, doing everything they can, to pay their mortgage or rent to ensure a roof over their heads. They are going without power, food and medicine and these are sacrifices that no-one should have to make.
Housing is now being seen as a major problem for many in our community. We need your help to ensure that inadequate income gets the same attention.
1. Synod 2023 - Book Two - Business Paper | Anglican Diocese of Perth (www.perth.anglican.org)^
2. Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2023 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au)^
3. Minimum wages - Fair Work Ombudsman^
4. How much JobSeeker Payment you can get - JobSeeker Payment | Services Australia^
5. How much Rent Assistance you can get - Rent Assistance | Services Australia^
6. Perth Median House Prices, Sales Volume and Rental Market Data | REIWA^