In the run-up to the Salvo's Red Shield Appeal Doorknock this weekend, the charity has released Roy Morgan data based on a random telephone survey.
It reveals 11.1 million people, or about 60 per cent of Australians, think the gap between rich and poor has increased in the last year.
In addition, 12.5 million people, or 68 per cent of Aussies, say they know people who are finding it difficult to pay for basic necessities such as electricity, gas, water and food bills.
Internal research shows almost one in four of the charity's clients think they are a lot worse off than they were last year.
Sixty-five per cent of them say they have had to cut down on luxuries such as hair cuts, cosmetics and shampoos.
The Salvos' Major Neil Venables said the findings were "alarming".
"To see so many people indicating they know someone who is finding it difficult to pay the basic necessities of everyday life is shocking," he said.
He said the increased cost of living was impacting "in a big way" on low-income families, with the charity now estimating more than 2.2 million people live in poverty, including about 12 per cent of Australian children.
"We need donations urgently because the simple fact is that the demands on our social and community services are growing," he said.
A string of recent natural disasters across Australia, such as the flooding in NSW and Queensland, had stretched resources to the maximum and the need for funding was critical, he added.
"After all the challenges of recent months, including implementing a comprehensive flood response plan, our resources are severely stretched," Major Venables said.
"We help around one million people a year - if you put them in a line, it would stretch from the centre of Melbourne to Newcastle."
The annual doorknock starts on Saturday and ends on Sunday with a goal to raise $79 million.
Major Peter Sutcliffe reminded people that the charity was about more than just "food and blankets".
"We provide crisis accommodation, telephone counselling, emergency services, employment help, support for families in need, disaster relief and much, much more," he said.
The Roy Morgan Research survey sample size was 660 nationally.
theaustralian.com.au 27 May 2011
The politics is to widen the gap in society between the rich and poor and as result this is not only being seen by the masses but also written about in the mass media.
The politics may not be clear to most people, but indeed the results speak for themselves.
When people are financially oppressed they do not have any room to move against any authority.
These are the deliberate plans put in place by governments and businesses alike to plunge the masses into poverty and NOT prosperity.