Victorians are preparing for a series of price hikes and cost changes that take effect on 1 January 2020.
It’s bad news for motorists and public transport users, with myki fares on the rise, Citylink tolls increasing and Melbourne’s Congestion Levy also set to jump.
The Victorian Government will also begin collecting money from its new cladding rectification levy in January, though government fees and fines will remain steady until the next scheduled increase in July.
Utility prices fluctuate and differ between retailers making them hard to track, but the standard ‘default offer’ will increase by roughly $100.
There is some good news, with local council rate caps still in effect.
VCOSS CEO Emma King said Victorians need to watch out.
“Some things are becoming more expensive while others are holding steady,” she said.
“Unfortunately, things never seem get any cheaper.”
“Victorians—and especially people on low incomes—need to be aware of these price changes so they’re not caught out.”
“These price hikes hit just as we’re all recovering from Christmas and preparing for back-to-school costs.”
“All big retailers and service providers have hardship programs. If you’re struggling to pay a bill, ask for help.”
“If they don’t listen or refuse to help unreasonably, you can complain to the Ombudsman.”
Ms King warned Victorians against overloading credit cards or using predatory lending services.
“Avoid loan sharks, pay-day-lenders and debt vultures, and use buy-now-pay-later services with caution. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.”
“The last thing you want is to be caught in a debt spiral.”
Ms King said any person experiencing financial hardship should seek help immediately.
“A good place to start is the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.”