The Government’s cost of living pressures are failing those who need it most, with 13.3% of all people in NSW living in poverty according to a damning report by the NSW Council of Social Services.

Communities in regional NSW and Sydney’s west and south west are experiencing the highest levels of poverty, with single women, people with disability and indigenous communities finding it hardest to make ends meet. Shamefully, one in six children in NSW live in poverty.

The report comes as the Opposition revealed $250 million is being torn from the NSW health budget at a time when CPI figures show the cost of hospital and medical services faced by families has risen by 195% since the year 2000.

Earlier this week, the Treasurer’s hand-picked economic panel looking into State and Federal relations raised the impacts of increased health spending on GST revenue and called for “action,” calling into question whether the Treasurer supports removing the GST exemption for health costs.

Any such move would significantly raise cost of living pressures on vulnerable people like those singled out in the NCOSS report.

Shadow Minister for Cost of Living, Jo Haylen, said:

“It’s not OK that in NSW in 2019, a person’s postcode still determines how well they’re able to get by.

“This shocking report raises real questions about how effectively the Government’s cost of living measures are being targeted and the extent to which they are helping the most vulnerable.

“Household budgets are out of control and people want a guarantee that the Government isn’t planning to increase health and other household costs.”