Anti Poverty Week 2019

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14 October, 2019

For many years Anti-Poverty Week has helped to raise awareness of the plight of people in poverty in SA and around the country.

Despite all the efforts over many years, poverty rates Nationally have moved little and this year the surrounding soft rhetoric about antipoverty has been dropped in favour of a stronger call to action. It seems the gloves are off with the Raise the Rate campaign invited to be a major player in supporting the week. Support for the campaign is on the rise as cost of living pressures push many closer to struggle street. 

Every day there are many people living in poverty who ask, how can they possibly manage to feed their families?

In S.A. organisations such as The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Anglicare, St John's, Lutheran Services, Hutt Street Centre, Foodbank, Secondbite and Oz Harvest (to name a few), as well as independent charities, Heart and Soul, Faithworks, Fred’s Vans and small Church groups do their best to provide shelter, food and housing to those in need. Regionally the Red Cross and The Community Passenger Network steps up to help people negotiate the barrier of distances and help people get to the services that are available in the larger towns. 

Collectively these groups do substantial heavy lifting in the social welfare arena and without them many people would not have the shoulder of support that they desperately need. Long-term debt or hardship can be soul destroying and why most of these charitable assistance agencies provide good will and dignity as key components to their assistance.

Many of us will go through financial problems at some stage in our lives. Some will waiver in and out of hardship on a regular basis. It is not just a case of people mishandling their finances. People on low incomes and Government allowances are pretty good at utilising every penny.

There are many reasons people fall into poverty. Separation or death of a partner, domestic violence, health and mental health issues can rapidly deteriorate your financial wellbeing. Excessive gambling and substance abuse is not just a poor person’s issue. Add in such life changes as losing a job or only getting casual part time work and many more families are in dire straits. Losing a life long partner brings not only grief but can throw many financial problems and in particular women struggling with a lifelong pay gap or interrupted superannuation schemes are at a real disadvantage to securing better financial prospects later in life.

Payday lenders thrive in these environments and target vulnerable situations with carefree style marketing ads. It’s never a case of borrowing and just moving on. Many assistance agencies see those families teetering on the brink of financial hardship quickly dragged into long-term hardship by scruple less companies in poorly regulated industries.

There are concessions and hardship assistance available for low income earners but gaining a little assistance from a charity can be the difference between actually eating or not. Those relying on these organisations are just getting by but there are still many more struggling that don’t know where to go or what to do to seek help to manage their cost of living expenses.

The Affordable SA is a suite of services that connects you to the services and events that can help you manage the cost of living in South Australia. Download the App, phone the Helpline on 1800 025 539 or go to the website www.affordablesa.com.au





 

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Financial Abuse - What is it?

In Australia, 15 out of every 100 women and 7 out of every 100 men experience financial abuse.

Financial abuse often occurs alongside other forms of domestic violence, such as physical, sexual and psychological abuse. It is reported that up to 9 out of 10 women who access domestic violence services have experienced financial abuse.

Who can be a perpetrator of financial abuse?

- Partners, husbands, wives, girlfriends or boyfriends (including exes)

- Carers or paid support workers

- Parents, guardians or other family members

- Adult children

- Other people you live with or see often

What are some of the signs of financial abuse?

- Has someone stopped, or attempted to stop you from accessing your bank account?

- Has someone stopped, or attempted to stop you from working or studying?

- Has someone refused to contribute financially to the household, or does contribute but not enough to cover basic household living expenses?

- Has someone pressured you to sign up for loans, credit cards, consumer leases, pay day loans or utility accounts in your name?

- Has someone damaged, stole or sold your property without your permission?

- Has someone stopped, or attempted to stop you from using social media, your mobile phone, internet or the family car?

- Has someone made you feel like you cannot manage money on your own?

If you, or someone you know, answered yes to any of the above questions it is important to speak to someone about the situation.

Who do I contact?

- 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) – 24 Hour counselling and support service for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

- National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007 – Free, confidential and independent service provided by Financial Counsellors who can guide you through your options to help you plan your way out of debt

For more information about financial abuse, see the attached video from 1800 Respect

For more information about domestic violence, see the attached link to the Domestic Violence section of the Affordable SA App

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Back to school No Interest Loans

Back to school costs are no longer just about uniforms and stationery.

Over the last decade the emphasis on the technology used for education has meant kids require more access to laptops and mobile devices as part of their every day learning. This has meant a huge increase in schooling costs and puts even more pressure on parents finding it hard to cope with cost of living pressures.

Computers and mobile devices are now by far the most significant part of schooling costs for many families and finding the money at this time of the year can send people spiralling into more debt. Many will still have outstanding bills from Christmas.

How can you pay for your kids essential learning needs without sinking further into debt or needing to think about other forms of loans that may cost you a lot more?

Have you heard of NILS? The No Interest Loans Scheme run by Good Finance loans has helped many families to purchase white goods and household items such as fridges and washing machines without paying any interest or charges. No interest, no charges at all! Now the Good Finance NILS is available to help with your back to school needs including computer and text books.

Low Income earners and people in hardship can access this help.

No interest loans are the best and cheapest way for people on low incomes to cover household expenses and necessities, you only repay what you borrow, so you don’t get caught in a cycle of borrowing and debt.

To apply for a no interest loan, visit nils.com.au to find your nearest provider or check out more about NILS and other assistance available in South Australia see the Affordable SA App (download free on Apple and Google play) and website [www.affordablesa.com.au](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/) or ring the [Affordable SA Helpline](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/affordable-sa-helpline) on 1800 025 539.

By [Graeme](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/graeme-hinckley)

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