A new study has revealed that one in ten Australians lives under poverty.
A Roy Morgan report of 669 people commissioned by the Salvation Army has indicated that the working poor are finding it harder to make ends meet, with the rising cost of living and a lack of affordable housing causing financial stress for low-income families.
About half of the country's low-income households report cash-flow problems, and more than a quarter need to increase credit card debt or borrow money from friends and family to stay afloat.
The report also found about 70 per cent of poor children are living in jobless families.
Brad Halse of the Salvation Army said the report findings showed poverty issues had become entrenched.
He said there was a need for more understanding and fewer misinformed stereotypes, with an estimated 80,000 Australians seeking financial help for the first time in 2009.
"We are seeing families where there is intergenerational poverty," News.com.au quoted Halse as saying.
"The cycle just isn't being broken," he added.