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As power bills rise people choose what they won't pay for

Business

A third of Australia’s households would not be able to afford to pay their power bills which will rise by about 10 per cent in south east Queensland but by as much as 20 per cent for businesses.

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Polling by Suncorp of 2000 people asked them what they would sacrifice if the power bill rose by 10 per cent.

A third said takeaway meals would end, a quarter said heating or air conditioning, holidays or buying new clothes would be scrapped while one in six said a planned new car or home renovations would be put on the backburner.

Suncorp said households may be forced to find hundreds of extra dollars a year, just to keep the lights on.

“Businesses, still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, could also be impacted with two in five Australians saying they will limit their expenses to find savings,” Suncorp said.

“From essential items such as heating and cooling, medical bills, and childcare to discretionary spending on clothes, takeaway food, and digital subscriptions, families will cut costs to make ends meet.

If their income failed to meet the cost of living, 40 per cent of respondents to the survey said they wouldn’t be able to pay for school fees, medical expenses, insurance or petrol. A third said they wouldn’t be able to pay for their food and groceries.

Suncorp Bank Home Lending executive general manager Bruce Rush said as the cost of living continued to rise, understanding and managing finances was extremely important.

It was now offering green upgrade loans allowing people to borrow to improve energy efficiency of the home as well as items like solar panels.

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