Low income earners are falling behind
The Sector > Research > Those on low incomes are falling behind, Anglicare Australia study shows

Those on low incomes are falling behind, Anglicare Australia study shows

by Freya Lucas

July 04, 2023

Australian workers who earn the minimum wage, including some in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, are falling behind on the cost of living, according to new findings from Anglicare Australia.


Anglicare Australia’s Living Costs Index, released in late June, shows that people on the lowest incomes are falling behind on the cost-of-living.


Key findings include:


  • A full-time minimum wage worker has just $57 left after essential weekly expenses
  • A family of four, with two full-time minimum wage workers, has just $73 left after expenses
  • A single parent on the minimum wage cannot afford essentials, falling short by $180
  • Housing is the biggest living cost facing households, with average rents rising by more than 30 per cent over the last three years.


“These numbers confirm what Australians already know. Living costs are spiralling. Essentials like food and transport are shooting up, and housing is more expensive than ever,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.


“Rents have gone up by 30 percent since 2020, and they are forecast to keep going up over the next year.”


People on the lowest incomes, even those working full-time, are being priced out of their own communities, Ms Chambers continued, warning that, without action, the cost-of-living crisis could force huge numbers of people to turn to agencies like Anglicare for basics – like food, rent, or medicine for themselves and their children.


“Australians doing it tough need real action, and real leadership,” she said. 


“That means making the minimum wage a living wage, limiting unfair rent increases, and investing in housing for people in need.” 


“People on low incomes did not create Australia’s inflation and cost-of-living crisis. They shouldn’t be asked to pay the price for it. We need a plan to stop Australia’s lowest paid workers from being pushed into poverty.”


Access the findings here.

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