480,000 living in poverty in Qld
QUEENSLANDERS are going without meals, unable to pay their bills on time and are struggling to afford second hand clothing, the State Opposition said today.
Shadow Minister for Community Services and Housing Fiona Simpson said the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) Annual Poverty Statement released today showed household essentials including power, water, petrol, rego, bus and rail fares had risen faster than CPI in the past five years.
"Nearly half a million Queenslanders living in poverty was a shameful statistic of the Bligh Government's incessant cost of living increases," Ms Simpson said in a statement.
"Seniors and other Queenslanders on fixed incomes have been hit particularly hard by Labor's increases in household expenses.
"Worsening unemployment among women and our youth has delivered the shocking result - more than 480,000 Queenslanders are living in poverty."
Ms Simpson said despite Premier Bligh's promise that 'nobody would be worse off' under the Labor Government's electricity changes, power bills have spiralled up over 60 per cent and average home bills would rise by a further $118 this year.
"Queensland is now the most expensive state to own and operate a car," she said.
"Anna Bligh broke her promise not to introduce a new 9.2c litre fuel tax immediately following the last election resulting in Queenslanders paying an extra $2.4 billion over 4 years when they fill up their petrol tanks.
"Registration for the family car is going up another three per cent or $23 this year, and that's on top of the 24 per cent increase over the last three years.
"Driver's licences are also set to double from $73.70 to $152.50 for a five-year licence," she said.
Ms Simpson said it was no wonder QCOSS reported a massive jump in the need for community assistance, revealing community based support had increased by seven per cent in just one year.
There was also a six per cent increase in the number of people turned away from assistance and a 73 per cent increase in demand for financial services.