By Syed Atiq ul Hassan;
[Australia is facing its worst inflation crisis in recent memory, with a staggering 93% of Australians unable to afford basic household items, according to a survey conducted by The Salvation Army. The survey also highlights that 75% of families now live below the poverty line. This dire situation has led to a significant decline in donations to charitable organizations like The Salvation Army, making it increasingly challenging to support those in need. As the cost-of-living soars and Australians struggle to make ends meet, concerns grow about the long-term implications of this crisis.]
Rising Inflation and Impact on Standard of Living:
The survey conducted by The Salvation Army paints a grim picture of the current state of affairs in Australia. Over the past year, food prices have skyrocketed to the point where families, especially those with multiple children, are forced to skip meals. In fact, some individuals reported having to choose between feeding their children or nourishing themselves. This startling revelation exposes the harsh reality faced by thousands of Australians who are now forced to reduce their standard of living due to extreme inflation.
Financial Support Struggles:
The Salvation Army’s Mission Secretary, Stuart Glover, expressed concern over the rising number of people seeking financial assistance from their organization. Long queues have formed daily outside their offices as individuals and families struggle to make ends meet. With 93% of Australians unable to afford basic necessities, the survey prompts the question: Where can they find warm clothes for the upcoming winter, school supplies for their children, or even afford petrol for their vehicles?
Declining Donations and Organizational Challenges:
The alarming decrease in donations to The Salvation Army compounds the crisis, making it increasingly difficult to sustain their operations. Running over 2,000 stores and offices nationwide has become a daunting task as financial resources dwindle. The organization’s dedicated staff work tirelessly to collect donations and engage in fundraising efforts, but without sufficient support, their ability to assist those in need is severely compromised.
Struggles of the Salaried Class:
Even the salaried class is not immune to the hardships imposed by inflation. In many cases, a single salary fails to support an entire family, forcing individuals to work multiple jobs or sacrifice time with their children to make ends meet. After accounting for essential expenses like rent, medicine, and petrol, families are left with a mere six dollars a day for food, often resulting in inadequate meals. This unfortunate reality showcases the extent to which Australians are struggling to maintain a decent quality of life.
Escalating Healthcare and Dental Challenges:
The survey reveals that 25% of families are unable to afford dental treatments for their children. Dental care in Australia is not only expensive but also limited, with long waiting periods at government hospitals. The financial strain caused by inflation has made it even more challenging for families to prioritize their children’s dental health.
Root Causes – Geopolitical Factors and Défense Spending:
Experts and economists point to several underlying factors contributing to Australia’s current financial crisis. The region’s geopolitical tensions and ongoing wars, particularly the conflict in Ukraine and rising US-China hostilities, have had a profound impact on Australia’s economy. Decreased trade from China has severely affected Australian farmers and manufacturers, further exacerbating the country’s financial woes. Furthermore, Australia’s substantial Défense budget allocation, driven by Défense agreements like AUKUS and QUAD, has diverted resources away from initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of its citizens.
Australia is currently facing a severe inflation crisis, as indicated by The Salvation Army’s recent survey. The findings highlight the alarming reality that most families are unable to afford essential household items and are living below the poverty line. This worsening situation calls for immediate action to address the issue. Moreover, charitable organizations are grappling with declining donations and are finding it increasingly challenging to meet the growing needs of those affected.
(Syed Atiq ul Hassan is a Sydney-based Journalist, political analyst, and editor, Tribune International, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org )
Concluded: 6 June 2023