Deputy mayor says Tweed residents in financial stress
ABOUT 40% of Tweed Shire residents living in rental accommodation are in financial stress, according to a report compiled by council staff.
There are 15.3% of residents in housing stress, while 16.5% struggle with their mortgage.
Pensioners are on average $16.50 short every week in covering their bills.
A person on a disability or carer pension is likely to be $133 a week short on meeting their expenses.
The report was prepared to help councillors discern the capacity of local residents to pay a proposed 1% environmental levy.
Addressing council on Thursday night, Cr Michael Armstrong said the statistics were alarming.
"I have absolute belief an environmental levy should be considered but I also think it should be weighed up against these sort of issues," Cr Armstrong said.
"It's not as simple as saying we need to do something for the environment; let's all feel good about ourselves.
"This is about people's take home pay.
"This is about people's day to day living costs and whether or not we're going to hurt them."
The statistics were based on multiple sources, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports on state-level findings from the 2009-10
Household Expenditure Survey as well as a Queensland Council of Social Services 2013 cost of living report.