Cost of Living Report No.31 General Update

NTCOSS has released the 31st Cost of Living Report. This General Update Report reveals that significant cost of living pressures have emerged and intensified for Territorians over the past year, with remote areas disproportionately affected. The report shows that there have been recent spikes in fuel prices across the NT, along with large increases in rents for most urban and regional settings and transportation costs in Alice Springs. Overall, this report shows that Territorians living on low incomes or on income support payments are experiencing more pressure from everyday expenses, and in some cases being pushed further into poverty, and the Commonwealth Government needs to do more to address the rapidly climbing cost of living and support Territorians on low incomes.   

Key Report Recommendations to the Commonwealth Government include: 

The Commonwealth Government should increase: 

  • the base rate of Jobseeker and related payments to at least $70 a day, and index payments in line with wages twice a year as well as with CPI; 
  • the Remote Area Allowance, in recognition of the high costs of living experienced by remote area households; and 
  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) by 50%, to better cover skyrocketing private rental prices, and review CRA overall, as the flat rate used currently does not account for regional and remote rent variations. 

Key Report Recommendations to the Northern Territory Government include: 

Expand the NT Concession Scheme to include electricity, driver’s licence and spectacles concessions for Commonwealth Health Care Card holders.  

Extend the Motor Vehicle Registration concessions to all Commonwealth Health Care Card holders, establish yearly indexation of the Motor Vehicle Registration concession, establish Aged Pension/ Commonwealth Health Care Card concession rates for users of remote bus services and ensure consistency of bus fare structures across different services. 

Key Report Recommendations to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments include: 

  • Commit to sustained investment in quality, affordable housing, specifically subsidised rental housing (including housing with rents set at a maximum of 30% of income), and appropriately targeted affordable home ownership programs.  

Click here to read the 31st Cost of Living Report  

Click here to see the factsheet