The bleak reality of marginalised Australians

The Salvation Army recently released an extensive report revealing the bleak reality of life for marginalised Australians, the National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2015. 

The survey highlights the increasing needs and economic struggles experienced by their Emergency Relief clients seeking support. “I can’t continue to live like this” is the title of the annual Economic Social Impact Survey which collected data from 2,406 clients across 262 Salvation Army centres across the country.

The resultant data paints an austere picture of entrenched and persistent poverty and disadvantage. The average respondents paid $180 per week on accommodation expenses and then had just $125 to live on – that’s only $17.86 per day. Newstart allowance respondents had the least amount of money to live on after expenses were paid – approximately $27 - $50 less per week. That’s $9.57 per day to pay for utilities, food, transport, health, medicine, education, clothing and basic entertainment.

The survey also revealed:

  • 56% of respondents felt financially worse off than this time last year
  • 29% felt negative about their future financial prospects
  • 91% said they had less than $500 in savings in case of an emergency
  • 75% of respondents indicated they have had to cut down on basic necessities
  • 78% of respondents in private rental experienced extreme housing stress (59% of income spent on accommodation expenses)
  • 51% of those looking for work for at least 12 months
  • 25% went without at least one substantial meal a day
  • Children went without out-of-school activities (65%) and a home internet connection (62%)

 “Through the generosity of the Australian public support for The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, the Salvos are able to assist around one million Australians every year. The national target for the Red Shield Appeal Doorknock weekend (30-31 May) is $9.5million, which is a significant part of an overall goal of $74 million for the Red Shield Appeal,” said The Salvation Army Media Director, Dr Bruce Redman.

Donate to the Red Shield Appeal, or  call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

Lumo Energy is proud to support the ‘Utilities Assistance’ program which helps individuals or families facing immediate crisis pay their energy bill.  This program is part of the Emergency Relief service.  

For further information  


National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2015.

Date: 25 June 2015
Category: Lumo Community

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