Over 26,000 searches were made for assistance and support from Lifeline Australia in January – the highest they have ever recorded. Lifeline says the record activity is connected to increased financial stress. There has been a 49% rise in referrals for people calling about financial issues and homelessness between August 2022 and January 2023.
CEO of Lifeline, Colin Seery, said their centres were also reporting increases in face-to-face demand for financial support. This includes people who have never sought help before.
Financial concerns have grown across Australia in the past 12 months. This is partially because wages have not kept up with the rate of rising prices (inflation), meaning that in real terms, many Australians have experienced a wage cut.