New year adds to hip pocket pain

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

IT IS cost­ing more to live.

And the com­mu­nity’s least for­tu­nate will feel it the most but in-turn so will the or­gan­i­sa­tions help­ing them.

Once the clock ticked over to 2017, as most of us were cel­e­brat­ing the com­ing of a new year, the cost of liv­ing sky­rock­eted.

Ev­ery­thing from the cost of pub­lic trans­port to coun­cil rates to wa­ter and elec­tric­ity bills has in­creased and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions are un­der the pump.

The Sal­va­tion Army Rochester has seen an increase in de­mand for the past six months.

‘‘We have seen nearly a 40 per cent increase in the num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing our ser­vice,’’ Lieu­tenant Ben Clap­ton said.

‘‘Al­though our fund­ing lev­els haven’t been in­creas­ing.

‘‘So fur­ther in­creases will put a lot of strain on our ser­vices, but more so on the peo­ple we are giv­ing ser­vices to as they won’t be get­ting as much sup­port as we would like to give them.

‘‘We would love there to be a never end­ing pot but un­for­tu­nately there just isn’t.’’

There’s no doubt the price of elec­tric­ity bills will be the tough­est hike for the Sal­va­tion Army.

‘‘We get a lot of peo­ple al­ready seek­ing as­sis­tance with their high elec­tric­ity bills, I’m not sure how we will go once the price hike re­ally kicks in,’’ Lt Clap­ton said.

‘‘We also have peo­ple just need­ing as­sis­tance with food, re­ally strug­gling just to sur­vive.

‘‘There have also been in­creases in peo­ple need­ing help with their gas and wa­ter bill — but nowhere near like elec­tric­ity.’’

A break­down of the price rise com­piled by the Vic­to­rian Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices shows most pub­lic trans­port fares in­creased by 3.9 per cent while elec­tric­ity costs jumped 8.4 per cent.

De­spite be­ing 10 days into the new year, Lt Clap­ton be­lieves the im­pact of the rise won’t be seen for a few months.

‘‘It is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict when the hikes will im­pact the most, but we will see it come into ef­fect pretty soon,’’ he said.

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