Costs too high for NT’s Poorest
The 23rd Cost of Living Report released today by the Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) focuses on rising costs for lower income families and the impacts of recent heatwaves on electricity costs – particularly for people in remote areas.
  • While electricity prices are stable, recent heatwaves mean families trying to keep cool around the clock will be hit with bigger power costs.
  • Petrol prices have come down over the last quarter, but are still high for many households
  • Cost of living for single Newstart recipients (especially parents) is rising faster than incomes

The report calls on the NT Government to address the impact of recent heatwaves on electricity bills for low income households, especially those in remote communities, where temperatures can be the harshest, and where access to other means of cooling (e.g. swimming pools) may be very limited.“NTCOSS calls on the NT Government to implement further reform around the eligibility criteria of the Northern Territory Concession Scheme to ensure all low-income households are included”, stated NTCOSS Policy Adviser, Jonathan Pilbrow.

“While fuel prices in some regions have decreased in recent months – prices in many regions remain very high – with residents of some remote communities paying as much as $3.30 per litre for low aromatic fuel, and others paying $2.94 per litre for diesel”, stated Mr Pilbrow.

“Transport is essential for people looking for work, who are in education or training, or for accessing health services, banking and shopping. Access to affordable fuel is particularly important for people in remote or regional areas where public transport options are limited or non-existent”, said Mr Pilbrow.

“While governments have limited options when it comes to influencing petrol prices, they can reduce the cost of car registration, and that’s why we are again calling on the NT Government to both index the Motor Vehicle Registration Concession (which has remained the same for a decade) AND extend it to people on the lowest incomes such as those on Newstart and Youth Allowance.

NTCOSS calls on the Federal Government to raise the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance payments by $75 per week.