NTCOSS Cost of Living Report - Issue No. 29, September 2020

5th Oct 2020

The latest Cost of Living report from the Northern Territory Council of Social Service, NTCOSS has highlighted that the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Supplement payments have prevented thousands of Territory households from falling into poverty. This Report comes at a critical time for the NT in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with a recently re-elected Government with substantial budget constraints due to factors which include the reduction in GST revenue. Key Report Recommendations to the Northern Territory Government include: Transport Affordability

  • Improve affordability for Private Vehicles Owners by extending the Motor Vehicle Registration Concessions to all Commonwealth Health Care Card holders
  • Make existing bus services more affordable and available by establishing Pension/Health Care Card concession rates for users of remote bus services and ensure consistency of fare structures across different services

Housing Affordability

  • Improve energy efficiency for social housing by establishing a post-pandemic economic stimulus program focused on energy efficiency (and climate appropriate) upgrades for social housing
  • A substantial and sustained increase in expenditure on preventative maintenance for housing to enable more Housing for Health programs to be rolled out. This will help ensure more Territorian households have access to safe, healthy and functioning housing

Key Report Recommendations to the Federal Government Adequate Income Support Payments

  • Keep the Coronavirus Supplement be kept in place until the social security system is fixed for good so that it keeps people out of poverty, with an income of $500 per week for a single person
  • Increase the Remote Area Allowance, in recognition of the high costs of living experienced by remote area households