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Charity: 2.5mn Australians living in poverty

27 May 2015 10:09


About 2.5 million Australians are living in poverty, with many trying to survive on just $18 (14 USD) a day after accommodation expenses, the Salvation Army charity organization says.

The survey of people visiting the Salvation Army’s centers around Australia for help shows that one in four missed at least one meal a day, half said their situation was worse than a year ago, and 60 percent of children reported severe deprivation.

“We are deeply alarmed at the findings of this survey,”The Salvation Army spokesman Major Bruce Harmer said, adding that “Without sufficient financial investment … the situation for disadvantaged individuals is likely to remain unchanged or further deteriorate.”

According to the charity which has more than 1.5 million members worldwide, About 2.5 million Australians are estimated to be living under the poverty line. Half of Australians couldn’t afford up-to-date school books or out-of-school activities for their children.

The survey found 75 percent of respondents had cut down on basic necessities, 68 percent went without dental treatment and 37 percent went without medical treatment.

The Salvation Army said the results painted an alarming picture of what was happening to many marginalized Australians.

The 2,406 people between the ages of 25 and 59 who took part in the survey spent on average 59 percent of their income on accommodation, leaving them with $17.86 (13.98 USD) a day to pay for food, utility bills, healthcare and clothing, according to the charity.

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