Lower-income households continue to bear the brunt of the cost of living crisis although more families in higher income brackets are starting to feel the pinch
A National Australia Bank survey found a sharp jump in the number of higher-income individuals reporting financial hardship across the September quarter, rising to 41 per cent from 33 per cent in the previous quarter.
The number of lower-income individuals experiencing financial hardship dropped off a little in the September quarter, albeit from very high levels.
Those in this pay bracket reporting hardship – which refers to a failure to meet some kind of financial obligation for a period of time – fell to 57 per cent in the September quarter, from 60 per cent in the June quarter.
Financial hardship looks different depending on how much money people bring in.
Lower-income groups were more likely to have drained their emergency funds, be struggling to pay their rent, or not have enough money for food and basic necessities.
People earning more than $75,000 were more likely to be struggling to pay their mortgages or meet minimum credit card repayments.
Overall, the number of Australians experiencing some kind of financial hardship lifted for the sixth quarter in a row, to 44 per cent.
Despite the pressures on Australians from high inflation and rising interest rates, the average person felt only “moderately” stressed about money or making ends meet.
“More people earning over $75,000 experienced hardship because they were unable to pay their mortgage, and somewhat more because they were unable to meet their minimum credit card repayments,” the report said.
(Australian Associated Press)