COST OF LIVING REPORT FINDINGS:
A federal parliamentary committee has looked at cost of living pressures facing Australians and found a number of contributing factors.
* Real wages are not growing and have deteriorated due to high inflation.
* While supply shocks and adverse weather has impacted the cost of living, domestic policy settings are also having an effect.
* Charities are witnessing an increase in demand for services. At the same time there is a downturn in the ability of charities to meet the demand due to increased overheads for organisations and lower levels of donations.
* Rising energy prices are a major contributing factor to the cost of living crisis, but greater supply of energy would reduce prices.
* Housing costs are also a major contributor to the rising cost of living and would improve with greater supply, especially of community and social housing.
* Food and grocery prices are being pushed up by supply chain disruptions, but increased input costs such as energy and fuel are also impacting on prices.
WHAT THEY SAID
"Across our service providing crisis support we are seeing this right now: more first-time users. These are people who are employed and a double-income families seeking support for financial difficulties. This reflects the changing face of financial stress and poverty in our nation." - Reverend Stu Cameron, Wesley Mission.
"We currently exist in a perfect storm of a cost-of-living crisis, an income crisis and natural disasters that are growing in frequency and intensity." - Brianna Casey, Foodbank.
"Most advanced economies have experienced a large increase in inflation over the past year or so." - Dr Marion Kohler, Reserve Bank.
Australian Associated Press