Captains Cathryn and Mark Williamson of the Salvation Army said it was working families feeling the pinch.
Captains Cathryn and Mark Williamson of the Salvation Army said it was working families feeling the pinch. Georja Ryan

Living costs for families hard

WORKING families are the new face of poverty, with the rising cost of living pushing even those with a steady income to the brink of ruin.

And Salvation Army captain Mark Williamson said Warwick was no exception.

"We're seeing more and more people seeking assistance, working people as well as those on Centrelink benefits," Captain Williamson said.

"As much as it's hurting working families, it means those without work or who are unable to work are really feeling the pain."

With the cost of living constantly climbing, Capt Williamson said families struggled to lower their standard of living as the prices around them increased.

"It doesn't matter if you're on $100 a week or $100,000 a week, if you have a decreased income (or less to live on) they find it impossible to live," he said.

"All they can do is tighten their belt and try to live within their means."

Reverend Rod Winterton, of St Mark's Anglican Church, said it was this lack of money in reserve that saw working families stretched to their limits.

"They live pay day to pay day and there's never anything in reserve, and that's an indicator of constant stress," Rev Winterton said.

He said although Warwick had a lower cost of living compared to cities, the crisis still affected country towns.

"A lot of people move here because we have the right price for living, so if we're seeing this here, then it must be a bigger problem elsewhere," Rev Winterton said.

A national survey by the Salvation Army revealed that of the million-plus people who sought assistance, the vast majority did not fit the poor-man stereotype.



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