Media Release 25 January 2024
COTA Australia – the leading advocacy organisation for older Australians – welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to providing cost of living relief for all Australians, including older Australians.
COTA Australia Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Sparrow, said anything that puts more money in the back pocket of Australians who need it most is a good thing.
“As the cost of living pressures increase, more and more Australians, including older people, are worrying about how they’ll survive,” Ms Sparrow said.
“The current cost of living crisis is not only hitting the hip pockets of older Australians, but in many cases also affecting their sense of self-reliance, health, wellbeing and patterns and frequency of family and community interaction.
“Any measure that helps relieve some of that pressure, such as action on supermarket and healthcare costs, is very welcomed.
“We know older women are doing it particularly tough at the moment, so it’s good to see women at the centre of many of the cost of living announcements made by the Prime Minister.”
Ms Sparrow said COTA Australia is looking forward to seeing even more cost of living relief in the upcoming Federal Budget.
“COTA’s recent State of the Older Nation report found that older Australians are increasingly feeling the cost of living crisis, with six in ten respondents listing financial stress as a key reason why they feel things are getting worse for older people. Those on lower incomes or reliant on pensions are significantly more likely to feel they have a poor quality of life.”
“The announcements made today are a step in the right direction and we’re looking forward to seeing even more action in the upcoming budget.”
Among the other cost of living measures COTA would like to see introduced are:
- Rental relief for Australians, including older Australians, particularly through an increase to the Commonwealth Rent Assistance
- The introduction of a Seniors Dental Benefits Scheme
- Further measures to address cost of essential items, such as food, fuel and groceries
- Energy bill relief
- An internet supplement – to ensure pensioners don’t get left behind due to the cost of internet access.
Media contact: Tamara Kotoyan, 0430 291 890