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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, raised the issue of cost of living for young people in Federal Parliament. See above video for full speech.

“I rise on behalf of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition who tell me that according to a recent survey, cost-of-living is the leading concern amongst Australians aged 16-25, with one young person saying “I am unable to attend appointments due to how expensive they’ve been lately. My mental health has never been worse, yet I am still unable to get help because of these prices”.

“It is shameful that in Australia, one of the richest countries in the world, it is unaffordable for young people to get the help they need. Young people are struggling with high rents, making it extremely difficult to find a place to live. And on top of that they are struggling to pay back HECS-HELP debts that are increasing due to high inflation. This leaves people avoiding visits to the doctor because it is just too expensive.

“Addressing cost-of-living pressures faced by young people needs to be an urgent priority for the Government. This can be done by supporting young people to find secure employment, raising youth allowance so that young people aren’t living below the poverty line, addressing the rental crisis and ensuring everyone can afford to visit the doctor whenever they need. Put simply, more must be done to promote the wellbeing and future of our young people.”