The South Australian Council of Social Service reveals that new cost of living data shows a clear need for increases in state government concessions for low income households.

The latest SACOSS Cost of Living Update released today shows that lowest income households are being hit hardest by cost of living pressures, and that over the last 5 years key government concessions have failed to keep pace with rapidly rising prices.
The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS) and the SA Taxi Subsidy Service (SATTS – access cabs for people with disabilities) rates have not increased while relevant prices have risen by between 15% and 21%.  Energy and water concessions have also lagged behind increasing prices.

Cost of Living Changes and State Government Concessions
December 2008-2013

Cost of Living Area Price Increase
Relevant Concession Payment % Increase
Electricity 68.1 SA Electricity Concession 37.5
Water & Sewerage 60.0 SA Water Concession 47.5
Water & Sewerage 60.0 SA Sewerage Concession 15.8
Travel Accommodation 17.7 PATS Accommodation Subsidy 0.0
Fuel 21.3 PATS fuel subsidy 0.0
Transport Fares 15.2 SA Transport Subsidy Scheme 0.0

SACOSS Executive Director, Ross Womersley said, “While all households have to deal with rising prices including massive increases in the cost of electricity, gas and water, increases in household income have generally covered these rises”

“Over the last ten years, the cost of living for households on base level income support payments like Newstart, Youth or Widow’s Allowance has gone up nearly 20% faster than the general inflation rate.”

Aside from federal government income support payments, state government concessions