Christmas Spells Money Woes For Some

Australians on Newstart or Youth Allowance payments are not looking forward to Christmas because of financial woes, a survey has found.

The Australian Council of Social Service collated responses from 461 people across the country earlier this month with 88 per centnot looking forward to the holiday season because of the cost.

The online survey found that 90 percent were also worried about not having enough money to cover basic expenses such as housing, food and regular bills.

Eighty five per cent felt their low incomes would prevent them spending time with family and friends, and 92 per cent said they would not have enough money to buy presents.

Image: Getty

"While many are counting down to the holiday season, it is filling people on low incomes with dread," ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said.

"With nothing to spare already, it's often impossible to find money for gifts, for food to contribute at social events, or transport to get to them.

"Too many people on low incomes, such as Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients, find themselves feeling especially isolated at this time of year."

Ms Goldie said ACOSS was calling on the federal government to raise Newstart and Youth Allowance payments.

She also urged the Labor opposition to consider the issue at its national convention in Adelaide in December.

"Newstart has not been increased in real terms for 24 years and is just $39 a day, which is simply not enough to cover the basics of life," she said.

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