DEBT AMOUNTS TO CRI­SIS IN FAM­I­LIES

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Opinion -

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

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