DEBT AMOUNTS TO CRISIS IN FAMILIES
MANY West Australians are living beyond their means and the explosion of household debt could create a social crisis if we have another economic downtown. A report by the Australian Council of Social Service found that average household debt had risen from 47 per cent of annual income in 1990 to 150 per cent in 2006. But savings remained relatively low. WA households had one of the highest debt ratios, with average debt rising by 78 per cent in the past decade. And many other households are already close to the poverty line. The report found a million households in Australia had limited economic resources and would not be able to respond to a financial crisis. The bulk of these homes are single-parent families and women 55 and over. Let’s hope we do not have steep economic downturn, it could be a bumpy ride for a lot of people in our community.
Rick Lee - Editor