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News Media Releases WA households stretched to the limit
WA households stretched to the limit
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 14:49

06 September 2011

If you’re poor, Western Australia is not the place to be. You will find it harder to pay your electricity bills and stay warm in winter.
Figures for 2009-10 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show low income earners in WA are finding it tougher to pay these bills than their counterparts in other state.

Poorer people in the WA spend most of their income on housing and find it hard to make ends meet.
“It’s outrageous that more than more than 27,000 households in WA can’t pay their electricity, gas or telephone bills on time,” Secretary of UnionsWA Simone McGurk said.
“This is proof that the massive hike in power costs has had a real impact on people, and that the government needs to move to cut these costs immediately.”
The ABS report estimates that there are 136,600 low income households in WA, 15 per cent of the total number of households in the state. More than 325,000 people live in these homes.
The ABS figures also reveal that almost 10,000of low income households in WA had to skip meals, and just over 8,000 could not afford to heat their homes over the winter.
“This is putting real stress on families. Just last week we learned that WA has a growing gap between the rich and poor, and this is what it leads to. It’s a travesty that, in the middle of a mining boom, people are under so much financial pressure. The wealth from the boom is definitely not trickling down to those in need in WA.”
Last week, the Labor-backed Skills Local Jobs Bill, which would have ensured that the amount of skilled local work on a project with a value of more than $200 million could be identified, was defeated in State parliament by one vote.
“That Bill could have ensured that more work opened up to West Australians and that the wealth from those projects could be shared throughout the population,” Ms McGurk said.


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