St Vincent de Paul Society is warning that the State Government’s budget announcing extensive utility increases to households is going to hurt those already struggling and cause many people further hardship.

CEO Mark Fitzpatrick said they were already assisting many individuals and families who were struggling to keep up with excessive increases in the State’s living costs.

“People struggling to pay their energy bills are increasingly being forced to rely on charities to put food on their table,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“We understand the Government is grappling with fixing its debt but hiking up utility costs is only going to hurt the economy - you don’t build a strong economy by increasing the level of inequality and punishing those already struggling.

“For the period 1 July 2013 to 31 March 2014 we have paid out $264,654 in utility costs on behalf of those in need,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Add to that the further blow from the Federal Government’s budget making excessive cuts to health, disability support, income support, community services and housing programs, we expect even more people will be turning to us for assistance with basic living expenses,” he said.
The Vinnies winter appeal was launched on May 1st raising money for all those struggling in this difficult economic climate - families, single parents, grandparents trying to cope with overwhelming financial pressures and excessive living expenses.

“The people in trouble are ordinary people, people you see every day silently struggling to cope, Mr Fitzpatrick said.  

“Vinnies is a lifeline for many Australians who have nowhere else to turn, and unfortunately our Government is turning its back on those struggling to keep their heads above water.”

Media contact: Joanne Hill, Media and Communications Coordinator, WA | 0417 247 290 | (08) 9475 5426