Cost of Living in Canberra: Freezing RatesAugust 26, 2020
Canberra Families, households, and local businesses are doing it tough and deserve a better way. Rates, Taxes, Fees and Charges are higher than ever before in Canberra. These charges are putting huge burden and leads to more financial hardship on families and businesses. With this the local business are struggling and closing, job losses are mounting and the livelihoods of many Canberrans are being threatened.
Living in Canberra
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Labor’s record increases to rates and taxes were hurting thousands of struggling families and households right across the ACT,” Mr Coe said.
Almost 35,000 Canberrans live below the poverty line, including 9,000 children. The constant rates increases are making it very difficult for many Canberrans. Canberra was once an affordable place to raise a family and retire. After 18 years of Labor governments, Canberra now is deemed as Australia’s highest rents, Australia’s highest childcare fees, Australia’s highest rates of repeat homelessness, Australia’s highest petrol prices, Australia’s highest gas prices and Australia’s highest costs for owning and running a car.
As a retiree, I understand the families with average income has barely enough to pay the bills. There is no extra room for spending on little things like visiting dentist, haircut, gym or having an extra coffee that impacts on small businesses.
Canberrans are losing their livelihoods as local businesses can no longer afford to employ staff and pay their bills. The ACT Government needs to do absolutely everything it can to save jobs which so many Canberra families depend on.
The Government cannot continue charging suffering small and family businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in commercial rates when families are struggling to put food on the table. Some businesses face millions of dollars in government charges.
Housing in Canberra
Canberra is the most expensive city in Australia to rent a house and has the highest proportion of poorer people in rental stress in the country. The lack of housing that people can afford is not only the biggest cause of homelessness, but it also prevents people from escaping homelessness.
“That’s why a Canberra Liberals Government will freeze rates, deliver rent relief and release more land for affordable housing in the ACT,” Liberals Leader Alistair Coe stated.
“ACT Labor and the Greens have completely overlooked the fact that an increasing number of hardworking and aspirational Canberra families are in significant housing stress, with many facing homelessness,” Coe added.
New data released by Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home showed that before COVID, about 1600 Canberrans were homeless on any given night. The said factual data can be attributed to ACT Labor’s lack of affordable housing choices as they emphasised that it "is one of the biggest contributors to homelessness in Canberra."
“While often hidden by our high average income, poverty and inequality does exist in Canberra. Many Canberra families are in a position of having to forego not only the occasional luxury but to decide between eating or turning on the heating. Meanwhile, the cost of housing continues to increase, with over a third of low-income rental households in the ACT experiencing rental stress," ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) Director Susan Helyar said.
Canberra Liberals: Focus on the Fundamentals
“Despite record rates, taxes, fees and charges, services are worse than ever. Raising the cost of living will not improve services and will not clear Labor’s debt. What it will do is hurt more Canberra families who are struggling to keep up," Coe discussed. “The Liberals want to make Canberra the best place to live, work and raise a family. We want to bring the focus back to the fundamentals for families by reducing the cost of living and improving services. Canberrans deserve a better way. That’s why the Canberra Liberals will freeze rates for four years to ease pressure on families,” Mr Coe added.
Authorised by Josh Manuatu for the Canberra Liberals.