Feeling the pinch and in debt, fears for next week’s budget

ABOUT 90% of people polled in a Galaxy nationwide survey fear next week's federal budget will worsen their financial situation.

About 88% of those said rising costs had already made sticking to a monthly budget almost impossible.

Commissioned by debt solutions provider Fox Symes and Associates, the poll found 46% of the 1000 respondents were concerned any budgetary benefits would go towards wealthy, high-income earners or big business.

"It is clear there is a sense of uncertainty in Australia amongst all age groups," Fox Symes director Deborah Southon said.

"People have very real concerns about the budget.

"Many are struggling to make ends meet and are scared the budget will make life even harder.

"In the last two years, Fox Symes has seen an increase in demand for its services - people are struggling with debt.

"What's more, between 2014 and 2016 the number of people we saw with serious debt problems aged 18-25 increased from 10% to 15%, and those aged 26-35 increased from 41% to 45%, which is concerning."

Among the results, about 34% of those surveyed thought the government would over-promise on new spending and increase Australia's debt levels even more, fuelling the need for higher taxes in the future.

Some 55% felt the rising cost of food was making life very challenging, but one of the biggest concerns was the escalating costs of utility bills.

About 60% of respondents said increasing electricity and gas bills were causing financial strain. Lower income earners (69%) and older Australians (69%) were feeling the pinch most.

Health insurance premiums were another area of concern. Overall, 49% of people were fearful about increases to health insurance, with 58% of older people particularly concerned.

Despite interest rates remaining steady, one in five people still feared the budget would significantly impact the economy and force up home loan interest rates.

Visit www.foxsymes.com.au/ for more information about Fox Symes and Associates.

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