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Hip pocket hit as budget costs families extra $600 a year

BALANCING THE BUDGET: Bernadette Dennis with her two daughters, Rachael, 4 months and Caitlyn, 2.
BALANCING THE BUDGET: Bernadette Dennis with her two daughters, Rachael, 4 months and Caitlyn, 2. Brenda Strong GLABUDG

COST of living pressures on Gladstone families will worsen, with expenses set to blow out by $600 more a year when the Queensland Government hands down the budget next Tuesday.

A 20% increase in power bills is expected from July 1, adding an extra $350 a year to an average bill for a family of four.

Home and contents insurances will rise by about $25 and it's expected car insurance will also jump $28.

Queensland is already the most expensive state in the country in which to own a car, and a 5-9% increase in stamp duty will further increase costs.

The cost of living pressures are already taking a toll, with 12.5% of our population considered to be living in poverty.

But Salvation Army Captain Jeff Bush believed the cost of living in Gladstone had improved, as more vacant accommodation became available.

"It has brought down the price of our emergency accommodation, which is a real positive," Capt Bush said.

He said Gladstone's issue was accommodation was usually sought before a job, but a full-time residence could be difficult to find.

"Gladstone's a bit of an anomaly where (job seekers) will have trouble getting a job without having an address when applying."

Young family holds out to see impact of Qld budget

STAY-at-home mum Bernadette Dennis says she and husband Chris are holding their breath to see the full extent of how the Queensland budget will hit the family's hip pocket.

The Gladstone couple have two children, Caitlyn, 2, and Rachael, 4 months.

She said the biggest struggle they experienced financially was their house repayments.

Chris is a third year apprentice electrician at QAL.

Before purchasing their home in New Auckland they were renting.

"We decided to buy because it wasn't much more expensive compared to our rent," Mrs Dennis said.

She said they were also concerned about the rent increases, and other bills going up.

They've already moved to head off additional expenses by renting out their downstairs area.

Since having their second child they have made changes to their family budget.

She said instead of buying takeaway or going to the shops, they tend to make do with what they already have.

They have also looked into investing in solar power, but said they would take it more seriously if there was a big power bill increase in the state budget announcement.

Topics:  cost of living, editors picks, families, gladstone




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