This analysis of Roy Morgan Single Source Survey data showed that during the low-COVID period (October 2020 to March 2021) that followed the 2020 peak of the crisis, there was no ‘snap-back’ for people on the lowest incomes.
As government supports such as the Coronavirus Supplement were gradually withdrawn, many people were plunged (back) into poverty. Workers in affected industries continued to face challenges making ends meet, with employment and work-hours remaining below the pre-COVID level. Many who had drawn upon savings or taken on debt to get through the crisis faced a long rebuilding process to get back to their pre-crisis financial position.
This paper explores financial wellbeing trends for vulnerable Australians after the 2020 COVID lockdowns, as the economy reopened and government supports were reduced.
The authors also consider how prepared these groups were for a second crisis, particularly one with more limited government assistance, given the resurgence of COVID-19 in mid-2021.