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Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic

  • May 26 2021
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Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic

By Cameron Micallef
May 26 2021

Despite billions in government support, vulnerable and low-paid Aussies have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic in a worse state than they entered 2020, new research has revealed.

Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic

Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic

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  • May 26 2021
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Despite billions in government support, vulnerable and low-paid Aussies have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic in a worse state than they entered 2020, new research has revealed.

Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic

A report released by the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) found lower-income Australians’ financial wellbeing decreased for the community as a result of higher unemployment, reduced working hours and income cuts.

According to the report, many Australians including those aged over 45, disability pension recipients, women on low income and single parents have been left with dwindling financial buffers, increased debt and reduced super. 

This comes despite the government raising support payments throughout the pandemic.

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The report showed that temporary policies such as the coronavirus supplement, which temporarily doubled JobSeeker payments, did moderate the impacts of the crisis, but they were short-term.

Those who had access to the increased income support payments reported an improved ability to meet financial commitments for the COVID period.

Yet, many during this time still had to draw on their savings or access their superannuation, leaving them now in a more precarious situation.

“The impacts of the crisis were uneven. This is just one of the many crises that we’ll face and the most disadvantaged will be hard hit. Put simply, those with less are not likely to bounce back,” Dr Emily Porter, ANZ Tony Nicholson Research Fellow at BSL, said.

Using Roy Morgan-ANZ financial wellness data, the study showed all Australians declined during the peak of the pandemic; however, most saw a bounce-back as Australia emerged on the other side of it.

“Our study really highlights the importance of decent work that allows people to build savings in the event of future crises and having a fair and adequate social security system in place. We need both to support people through uncertain times,” Dr Porter said.

“Addressing these challenges requires investment in secure, well-paid work and an adequate social safety net that allows people to build savings and live with dignity.”

Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic
Low-income Aussies fall further behind following pandemic
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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