Community advocates warn the Northern Territory could be one of the places in the country hardest hit by rising petrol prices.
NT Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) policy manager Sarah Holder said with some of the highest levels of poverty in Australia, especially in regional and remote areas, any cost of living increases would be a blow for vulnerable territorians.
“Those households [that] are managing on tight budgets don’t have the extra money to be able to absorb the costs of unexpected increases in the cost of living,” Ms Holder said.
“This sort of price increase we’re seeing, which will be disproportionately felt by people in the regional and remote NT, will be quite crippling for them.”
She said if there were price increases on everyday items, disadvantaged territorians may have to make some “really difficult choices”.
“It might mean they are unable to run their air conditioners, because they can’t afford the already high price of energy,” she said.
In response to the crisis, NTCOSS is calling for the federal government to ease cost of living pressures beyond cutting fuel prices.
“It can do that by doing things like raising incomes, including through permanently increasing the rate of JobSeeker and Youth Allowance, and also substantially increasing the remote area allowance, which hasn’t actually increased in over 20 years,” Ms Holder said.
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