One-in-three households say they are financially worse-off as a result of COVID-19 with more than half of people saying they used stimulus payments to top-up their savings.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which examined data between mid-March and mid-April, nearly half of people (45%) surveyed had had their household finances impacted by the pandemic.
Some 31% said this had been a negative impact while 14% had seen an improvement.
Others reported suffering ‘financial hardship’ with 7.5% lacking sufficient money to pay bills and 10% needing to use savings for basic living expenses.
Some 28% said they had already received the $750 economic support payment, particularly those aged over 65. The percentage of people in this demographic who had received a payment stood at 60% compared to a 19% for those aged 18-64.
Over half of stimulus recipients said they added the payment to their savings.
The survey also questioned recipients’ wellbeing and found twice as many as adults had reported experienced anxiety over the four-week period compared to results in 2017-18.
To boost their spirits in lockdown, 65% of respondents said they had increased their contact with friends and family outside of their household, the most-common methods being telephone, instant messaging or video calls.