Major Ben Johnson from the Salvation Army Bundamba.
Major Ben Johnson from the Salvation Army Bundamba. Inga Williams

Life on welfare tough going for Ipswich battlers

LIVING on welfare is a tough slog just to keep up with the cost of living.

Throw in unexpected expenses like a car break-down, or a visit to a specialist, and you can toss your weekly budget out the window.

Salvation Army Bundamba officer Major Ben Johnson said he dealt with a wide range of clients seeking assistance for financial difficulties, but a common thread among them was the constant battle to deal with bills and expenses.

"Theoretically speaking, welfare payments are enough when everything in your life is going well," Major Johnson said.

"There are always unexpected expenses with vehicles and phone bills, however, and although our clients budget as best they can, there are always circumstances that can come up.

"You could be injured or suffer an illness where you end up with medical expenses."

The Salvos in Ipswich have a financial counsellor employed every Thursday.

She is able to see a maximum of about five clients in a day, but her current caseload consists of about 35 people or families that a battling to make ends meet.

Maj Johnson said he would support an increase in welfare payments.

"The cost of living is always going up and I don't think welfare payments are keeping up," he said.