Anglicare Victoria’s research team analysed almost 9500 clients of our financial counselling services to compare life during the COVID-19 movement restrictions (the second and third quarters of 2020) with the 12 months before.
The Financial stress in Victoria during lockdown report is about the leading reasons for financial distress among our clients during these periods. Utility payments, credit cards and household debt were the most-listed pain points for financial counselling clients. The research found an increase in clients experiencing multiple vulnerabilities such as mental health problems and family violence in Melbourne during the lockdown period as well.
The Morrison Government’s JobSeeker and JobKeeper programs were effective in supporting those out of work, helping them meet financial liabilities and leading to a temporary reduction in financial counselling client numbers. The report recommends that unemployment benefits should be permanently increased to a level above the poverty line.
This is the first time this research has been done on Anglicare Victoria’s financial counselling services, which are among the most extensive in the state.