BALLOONING living costs, including rising grocery bills, have major charity St Vincent de Paul on edge over "cruel" JobSeeker payments of just $46 per day.
National president for the organisation Claire Victory said she was alarmed that neither the Labor nor Liberal party had come forward during the election campaign with plans to increase the unemployment benefit.
Analysis by Rabobank of the latest quarterly Consumer Price Index data showed food price inflation accelerated in the quarter to March 2022, hitting its highest year-on-year increase in more than a decade.
Bendigo Foodshare chief executive Michelle Murphy sounded the alarm in January over increasing food prices and and decreasing stock levels.
Senior analyst for Rabobank Michael Harvey said food prices in the March quarter CPI were 4.3 per cent higher compared to last year.
"Consumers should be bracing for further food price rises in coming months, as the impacts of higher transport costs, supply chain disruptions and other increased input costs make their way through the system," he said.
The price of vegetables has increased by 6.6 per cent and fruit by 4.9 per cent over the year. He said higher costs for meat, seafood and dairy also contributed to food price inflation in the past quarter.
Ms Victory said this would have a sharp impact on those relying on Centrelink payments.
"Expecting people to survive on $46 a day is cruel. Whichever party wins government next month will be forced to urgently address this issue unless they want to preside over a ballooning poverty crisis."
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