Call for more government help as Coasties struggle with rising cost of living

Elaine Finlayson with Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, and NSW Labor Leader, Chris Minns

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, is calling for more help from the NSW Government as Central Coast residents struggle with the rising cost of living.

“The cost of living has fast become one of the most pressing issues facing the country and our local community,” Tesch said.

“The inflation rate has surged to 5.1 per cent, its highest level in decades, as prices soar for everyday goods and services such as fuel (up 33 per cent), electricity (up 18 per cent), transport (up 12 per cent), childcare (up 3.9 per cent) and food (up 8 per cent).”

Tesch said the Government needs to do more to help many who are suffering on the Central Coast.

“This crisis is affecting nearly everyone, though it will hurt those who can least afford it the most,” she said.

“From the young to the old, the increase in prices for fuel, energy, groceries, rent, and mortgages are having a significant impact on our quality of life.

“Our State Government needs to be proactive and while there are some programs in place such as the Low-Income Household Rebate to help those who are struggling to afford their electricity bill, I have found that many struggle to access it.”

Tesch and NSW Labor Leader, Chris Minns, popped in to visit elderly Umina Beach resident, Elaine Finlayson, recently to discuss how the cost-of-living crisis has affected the day-to-day choices she makes.

“My friends and I are talking about the increase in prices quite openly,” Finlayson said.

“There are things we can’t do anymore because of it.

“I am very concerned; I am finding it very difficult to be able to afford the things I used to.

“Also, I am worried that if I need to, I will not have enough money to pay for living in a nursing home; that’s why I work hard to stay fit.”

Tesch said the cost of living crisis is compounded by the recent increases in Council rates.

“Every day I receive (correspondence on) the financial pressures that are hurting Coasties from higher Council and water rates (to the need) for rental and cost of living assistance,” she said.

“It is worrying that so many in our community are struggling to survive.”

Tesch said the Government needs to take an approach that looks to increasing accessibility for financial and social support by replicating past successes.

“The Dine and Discover vouchers through Service NSW (were) innovative and easy-to-use, and I struggle to see why the State Government cannot implement programs in a similar way so that we can get the much-needed support out to households as soon as possible,” she said.

“The Government’s Cost of Living Program provided through Service NSW’s Savings Finder tool is simply not accessible for those who struggle to navigate the layers of bureaucracy and tech savviness needed to get basic support.

“While inflation and the cost-of-living crisis is becoming a global issue due to a variety of factors, there is still meaningful and worthwhile efforts that can be made by the State Government to shield our communities from the fallout of this harsh economic environment.”

Media release, Jul 6
Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch

Elaine Finlayson discusses her concerns with Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, and NSW Labor Leader, Chris Minns