Not so cheap living in Tasmania, report shows

TasCOSS claims 5000 Tasmanian households have gone without meals in the past year due to financial stress.

Drawing on figures provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the organisation on Friday released a snapshot outlining the costs of living in Tasmania.

It found, on average, it cost a single-parent family with two children $904 to live each week, including $324 for rent, $219 for food and $54 for transport.

If that family relied solely on government assistance, this created a deficit of $192 a week.

TasCOSS found a young person in a sharehouse needed $315 a week to live.

If this person was solely on NewStart or Youth Allowance payments, they were short about $50 a week. 

It found 41 per cent of Tasmanians had at least once or more gone without meals, forgone paying their electricity, phone bills or car registration on time, or neglected to host family or friends for meals because they couldn’t afford to.

TasCOSS chief executive Kym Goodes said 25,000 households could not raise $2000 in a week if they were hit with a sudden expense.

“All Tasmanians deserve the basics of life and to enjoy connecting with friends, family and our communities,” she said.

“And it’s only by being able to afford the basics that every Tasmanian can fully participate in making Tasmania the kind of state we all want it to be.

“At a time when our state is celebrating the rosy outlook of our economy, is it okay that over 40 per cent of our population is not yet able to participate?”

The poverty line is set at $426 per week for a single person.

Ms Goodes said this meant that people on NewStart and Youth Allowance were behind to begin with as payments fall between $90 and $163 below that standard.

The Salvation Army’s state branch on Thursday released a report where 72 per cent of survey respondents claimed that they had gone without food at some stage to pay for rent. TasCOSS says average rents in Tasmania had gone up 70 per cent over the past decade.