COTA SA’s State Budget Submission in focus
Priority One: Cost of Living and Financial Security
The cost of living crisis is very real and very difficult for older people, especially those on low and fixed incomes. Through our engagement with older South Australians we hear many stories of how people are struggling to make ends meet and the difficult choices they make to balance a budget and cut spending. For example, a gentlemen in his 60s made the difficult decision to leave his family, friends and community to move to a regional area because he could no longer afford to live in a capital city.
“Due to ill health, I no longer can afford to live in a capital city anymore,” he told us.
“In between rent, food and groceries, medication, monthly and quarterly bills and expenses, I’m forced to make decisions on a daily basis about what to do.”
COTA SA’s first priority in our 2023/24 State Budget Submission is focused purely on measures to address cost of living pressures and financial security.
We are urging the State Government to invest in initiatives that will help all South Australians on low, fixed incomes to manage through the current alarming increase in the cost of living and invest in sustainable strategies that support older people to find or remain in employment.
We have presented five recommendations to the State Government, including:
- Providing additional funding to meet the growing demand for financial counselling services and to provide additional financial counselling outreach services targeted at older women experiencing financial hardship.
- Introducing a targeted energy efficiency strategy for social housing tenants to encourage modifications, retrofitting and appliance replacement.
- Increasing energy concessions for low income households.
- Developing innovative strategies to increase employment opportunities for people aged 50+.
- Investing in a pilot project to engage older workers and employers to trial new opportunities for mature employment and enterprise in regional areas.
If funded, our proposals will help to alleviate the cost of living pressures currently faced by so many older South Australians.
Read more about these cost of living recommendation and other priorities in the COTA SA 2023/24 State Budget Submission