WA families struggling to afford basic school supplies amid cost-of-living crunch

Feb 1, 2023 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The WA Liberals are appealing to the McGowan Government to provide further cost of living relief for WA
families as many struggle to afford basic school supplies on the first day back at school.
Leader Libby Mettam said the first day back at school should be a joyous occasion but for many families it
was becoming an increasingly stressful day amid escalating cost of living pressures.
“We know that many families are doing it tough in WA and are having to choose between putting food on
the table or buying basic supplies,” Ms Mettam said.
“It’s astounding that in a State as wealthy as WA that is riding high on a resources boom, that so many
families are relying on charities for basic needs.
“Not-for-profits such as Dandelions WA, which provides backpacks to children across the State, have been
left to fill the gap providing 6600 backpacks for kids in need this year, up from 900 last year.
“It’s incredulous that the Premier is happy to crow about his $11bn in surpluses over the past two years
while so many Western Australian families are struggling to make ends meet.”
Ms Mettam said one of the groups that was struggling to afford supplies was grandparent carers, with 66
per cent living in poverty. “The majority of this group survive on less than $50,000 a year but less than a quarter of them receive any formal State-based financial support,” Ms Mettam said.
“This is yet another group that is being left behind by a McGowan Labor Government that is completely
out of touch with the hardships many Western Australians are facing.
“The Premier has already flagged an extra 2.5% in fees and charges this year, adding $150 a year to the
average WA household expenses.
“We are calling on him to provide an immediate assurance that he will freeze fees and charges this year
and provide a further electricity rebate.
“He’s already stockpiled enough cash in the bank, why does he need more out of the pockets of Western
Australian families?”