Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 31

Table 19: Period of Interruption to Centrelink Payments Proportion No. 2014 2010 < 5 days 0 0% 16.7% 5-9 days 5 7.0% 16.7% 10-19 days 10 14.1% 22.2% 20-39 days 10 14.1% 27.8% 40+ days 46 64.8% 16.7% Almost three-quarters of these respondents (73.4%) indicated that the interruption/reduction meant they were unable to meet their household’s basic needs. Financial Hardship Several new questions were introduced to the 2014 ER survey to get a more detailed picture of the financial hardship experienced by clients. Survey respondents were asked to identify what costs had caused them recent financial hardship from a list of predefined items. Respondents could select more than one item. The most commonly identified costs causing financial hardship, identified by more than half of all respondents, were food expenses (68%), electricity (63.2%), housing costs and gas (54.2%). Table 20: Costs causing financial hardship for households No. % Food expenses 172 68.0% Electricity 160 63.2% Housing costs (e.g. rent, board, mortgage) 142 56.1% Gas 137 54.2% Travel (fares, petrol, car insurance, registration, etc.) 114 45.1% Phone 96 37.9% Health / Medical expenses (e.g. medicine) 96 37.9% Water 60 35.6% Debt repayment (e.g. parking fines, Centrelink, credit card, etc.) 85 33.6% School expenses (e.g. fees, books, uniform etc.) 77 30.4% Internet 55 21.7% Pet care 31 12.3% Baby expenses (e.g. formula, nappies etc.) 30 11.9% 32