A Gold Coast pensioner is living many Aussies’ worst fear as she weighs up whether she can afford to keep a roof over her own head.
Renters across the country are bearing the brunt of the soaring cost of living as landlords continue to pass on the sting of rising mortgage repayments.
Sandi Butler’s rent went up by more than 20 per cent from $400 to $510 a week.
Ms Butler said she was receiving a supplement from the government to help tide her over for the next three months of rent but didn’t know what would happen beyond that.
Sandi Butler cannot afford to pay her rent on her pension. Picture: Today
“But after 12 weeks, I will be on my own which is really pushing my stress levels to the max,” she told Today on Thursday.
“I try not to stress out and I’m trying to do the best that I can, but at my time of life, it’s something that I never thought that I would be doing.”
The maximum rate of pension for a single person is $1026.50 a week.
This means Ms Butler is spending close to half her pension every week on rent.
More than four million Australians who receive social support payments, including those on the age pension, will receive a boost to their weekly payments on March 20.
She described the increase to the pension as a slap in the face. Picture: Today
Single people on the age pension will receive an increase of $37.50 a week, lifting the maximum weekly payment to $1064.
“It’s really not covering anything at all,” Ms Butler said.
“It’s like an insult and a slap in the face because (it) doesn’t cover anything with the cost of living and the rents rocketing the way they are.”
“Too many people are just ending up on the streets.”
“It’s like we’re becoming a burden to the government, you know.”
Unsure if she is going to afford to pay the bills, Ms Butler is faced with the possibility of having to live out of her car.