Aussies 'are struggling to pay their phone bills'

With a lot of people's finances being stretched to the limit, it is little wonder that so many Aussies are finding it hard to pay their phone bills.

According to new figures compiled by Roy Morgan Research, 14 per cent of the population said they had struggled to cover a bill in the 12 months leading up to May 2012.

Plenty of households have seen their disposable income fall sharply in recent years, as the cost of living down under has spiralled upwards.

Many people have had little choice but to raid their savings accounts in order to cover everyday expenses and it seems that phone charges are proving particularly problematic.

Nearly half of the survey respondents said they had been taken aback by an unexpectedly high phone bill, while 16 per cent felt that poor budgeting and low income were the main reasons for their inability to pay.

Chairman of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Chris Chapman believes that telecommunications customers need to have access to spend management tools to make it easier for them to settle their arrears without putting themselves into financial difficulties.

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