Australian bishops urge action on cost of living pressures

Australian cost of living pressures

Australian bishops have made an urgent call to address the cost of living pressures facing low and middle-income families.

The country’s bishops have urged the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living to take action to mitigate the rising cost of living, which they describe as one of the country’s most pressing policy issues.

“Every day, thousands of Australian families feel the effects of international crises, insecure job markets, inflation, rising interest rates and slow wage growth,” says Bishop Vincent Long.

Long is chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service.

Long said that basic household necessities such as groceries, fuel, energy and housing have become increasingly unaffordable for many Australian families.

The bishops’ submission to the committee called for several measures to provide relief for families, including an increase in the minimum wage and policy changes to make housing more affordable.

“Economies exist to serve people”

According to the bishops’ submission, a family of four with one income earner on the minimum wage would be 18 per cent below the poverty line.

The bishops suggested that calculating the minimum wage by factoring in the needs of families could address housing affordability issues, which they said is a problem for all Australians, but particularly for families.

“Economies exist to serve people and the bonds of family and community that make life meaningful,” Long said.

“Raising a family is not a lifestyle choice, like buying a car or taking on a hobby.

“It is, instead, a fundamental commitment to the development of human persons, both of ourselves and our children.

“Australia’s future depends on the social, psychological and material flourishing of its next generation, which is best facilitated through strong, loving families.”

Long emphasised that the supply of affordable housing needs to be expanded, with a particular focus on setting aside a higher percentage of new residential developments as housing for low-income earners.


Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Australian Bishops Full Submission


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