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Being Poor Costs More

SACOSS Anti-Poverty Week Statement highlights 10 “poverty premiums” for low income South Australians

SACOSS is today releasing its 2017 Anti-Poverty Week Statement which highlights the “poverty premiums” paid by South Australians on the lowest incomes. These are the extra costs on those living in poverty that others with higher income or more resources can buy their way out of, avoid or minimise. 

The SACOSS Statement gives examples of 10 poverty premiums in energy, telecommunications, banking, government charges, and in ordinary shopping. The premiums can be extensive with examples of poverty purchases being 30% to 50% more than the cost for those with more money to spend, while other items have more than 5 times the impact on the household budget of those living in poverty.

SACOSS Senior Policy Officer, Dr Greg Ogle says, “The old saying is that money makes money, but in these cases the reverse is true: lack of money costs money.”

“The focus on poverty premiums shows why it is so hard to live on inadequate income support payments like Newstart and Youth Allowance, or to have minimum or casual wages which don’t cover all the bills. It is not just that there is not much money to go around, but that it actually costs more to be poor!”

“In this Anti-Poverty Week we need to better understand the day to day struggles of those living in poverty and ensure that there is adequate support for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged South Australians,” says Dr Ogle.
This table shows some of the Poverty Premiums we have identified (The calculations and methodology are set out in our full Anti-Poverty Week Statement. See also our infographic).




Published Date: 
Monday, 16 October 2017