INTEREST rate rises should be matched by a corresponding increase in rent assistance for low-income Australians forced to rent in the private rental market, Catholic Social Services Australia executive director Frank Quinlan said.
Mr Quinlan made the comment on August 8 as the Reserve Bank of Australia increased interest rates by a further quarter per cent which he said would inevitably lead to increased rents.
“Governments can’t control interest rates without having an adverse effect on the economy as a whole,” Mr Quinlan said.
“But the Australian Government can control the assistance it gives to low-income individuals and families through funding for public housing and rent assistance.
“Low-income families are unlikely to own their own home and many do not get access to public housing.
“Families are hurting and we see the results in our agencies.
“Many people are choosing between food, heating, and rent.”
Mr Quinlan said this was unacceptable in such a buoyant economy.
Catholic Social Services Australia represents 64 member agencies which provide services to more than a million Australians each year.
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