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Low Income Workers Are Paying More For Essential Costs, New Report Reveals

Australians on low incomes are spending more on groceries in the long run, a new Anglicare report has revealed.

Surveying six key living costs, the report found people who could not buy in bulk or were paying costs monthly instead of annually were more than those on better wages.

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People on low incomes were spending 93 per cent more on groceries, 142 per cent more on phone data, 61 per cent more on insurance, 45 per cent more on credit and loans and, 20 per cent more on energy.

This means low-income earners are paying sometimes one and half more than their counterparts – partly because they don’t have a large savings to rely on and are paying for their costs pay check-to-pay check.

Anglicare executive director, Kasy Chambers, said people on lower incomes often pay more for the same essentials because they are limited to how much they can afford to buy at once.

“Our research shows that it costs more to be poor. People pay more because they can’t afford to buy in bulk or to shop around,” she said.

“They pay penalties if they’re forced to live further away from their work and communities. And the best credit deals are for people with high credit scores and healthy bank balances.

“These extra costs are a poverty premium, punishing people who are already earning less. We’ve found that people can pay up to one and a half times more for the same service, pushing them even further behind.”

Ms Chambers said the amount of Australians doing it tough needs “real action and real leadership”.

She suggested raising Centrelink payments and making the minimum wage a “liveable wage” were ways to support some of Australia’s most struggling.

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