The St Vincent de Paul Society says this week’s interest rate increase is “another setback for the growing number of Australians struggling to keep a roof over their heads and to put food on the table”.
On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank raised interest rates by 0.5 percentage points, making the new cash rate 1.35 per cent. It was the third interest rate rise in as many months.
In a statement, Vinnies said the hike “will be felt by all Australians, but its most harmful impacts will be experienced by the three million Australians living in poverty or at risk of falling into disadvantage”.
“Vinnies is seeing a sharp increase in demand for support as the surging cost-of-living, shortage of affordable housing and increasingly insecure work combine to make it all-but impossible for a growing number of Australians to survive,” the statement said.
“The cost of today’s official interest rate rise will in large part be passed from landlords to renters. Around a third of Australians rent their homes, according to the most recent Census released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.”
The society said renters have been under pressure in recent years “as rents have spiralled out of control and vacancies hit record lows”.
The society called on the Albanese Government “to increase JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and to reinstate the National Rental Affordability Scheme” and to work with their state and territory counterparts to prioritise national minimum rental standards to protect renters against unfair evictions and unreasonable rent increases.
Interest rate hike to push more Australians into poverty (St Vincent de Paul Society)