Rising costs, rising stress

As living costs increase at record rates, young people are finding it harder to manage.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced a 2.1 per cent increase in inflation this quarter, the highest spike in over 20 years. 

According to the ABS, Perth has the largest inflation increase in the country this quarter at 3.3 per cent, which is 1.2 per cent higher than the national average.

Curtin Student Guild secretary Dylan Bortcia says there’s no shortage of students in need of assistance. 

“We’re always having students come in needing help for simple things; buying groceries, paying rent and all the rest of it,” he says.

He says international students reach out for assistance more than domestic students.

“International student fees are much higher than domestic student fees and they don’t have opportunities like HECS, so I guess those pressures are just more amplified for international students,” he says.

Foodbank WA president Kate O’Hara says people are needing support now more than ever before.

“The cost of groceries is rising, the cost of rent is rising, and now mortgage holders are facing an impending rate hike. These circumstances are pushing many Western Australians into financial stress and they are struggling to put food on the table,” she says.

National Union of Students president Georgie Beatty says the government isn’t doing enough. 

“For me, it’s important to emphasise that this is a preventable problem.

“In the budget, we saw a one off $250 payment. You know that’s barely a dent in many many students’ weeks rent, let alone actually helping with cost of living.” she says.

According to the ABS, fuel was one of the main reasons for the increase, jumping 11 per cent this quarter due to a surge in global demand. 

Curtin student Quinn Harper says fuel prices have meant he’s had to find alternatives to driving. 

Other Curtin students told us about their experiences with rising costs. 

Georgie Beatty says young people can use their vote to show how they’re feeling about the rise in cost of living.

“Students have the opportunity to voice their anger about that on May 21,” she says.