Thursday, 7 November 2013

The truth about Australian cost of living pressures in 2013



Remember Tony Abbott and all those Coalition candidates during the federal election campaign making promises about easing cost of living pressures caused by the big bad Labor Government?

Notice that the mainstream media is still talking about cost of living pressures building, despite the release of the latest Cost Price Index (CPI) data?
On the day these CPI figures were released News Ltd’s rather quaintly named Cost of Living Editor chose to focus solely on retailer energy price rorts and ignore the good news.

Well just for the record and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Reserve Bank of Australia, Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs and Centrelink, here are a few facts that are not generally being mentioned by Murdoch’s minions.

Between January and September 2013 the Wage Price Index (hourly rates of pay without bonuses) had grown by an estimated 3 per cent.

In the months of July and August through to September 2013 annual inflation was running at 2.2 per cent.

During these same three months the CPI for households headed by an employed person rose by a mere 0.8 per cent, while living costs for independent retiree households rose 1.5 per cent, age pensioner households rose 1.3% and other government transfer recipient households rose by 1.1 per cent.

The cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages only formed a small part of these increases as on average these rose by only 0.1 to 0.2 per cent, while the cost of vegetables actually fell by 4.5 per cent. Insurance, financial services, and health care costs also fell for all four groups, as did interest rates when the cash rate was lowered to 2.5 per cent on 7 August.

Overall from January through to September the cost of living for households headed by an employed person rose 0.9 per cent and cost of living over that same period for independent retirees, pensioners and other welfare recipients rose by 2 per cent.

In response to these relatively modest CPI rises, fortnightly adult pension payments grew by $28 per couple and $18.70 per single person on 20 September.
The single rate parenting payment rose by $16.50 per fortnight and unemployment benefits rose by $4.10.

To put all these figures into some sort of perspective; the Reserve Bank inflation calculator tells me that if I spent $200 on a basket of goods and services in September Quarter 2012 by September Quarter 2013 that same basket of goods and services would cost me $204.32.

In other words cost of living was never a genuine issue during the federal election campaign and, will only become one once the Abbott Government begins taxing fixed and low income earners at a higher rate than they were prior to the election and finalises the withdrawal of a number of concessions/allowances.

Something that the Coalition has stated in writing that it intends to implement - beginning this year and continuing through to the 2016-17 financial year [Coalition Costings Table: Fiscal Budget Impact Of Federal Coalition Policy].

The alleged fall in gas and electricity prices voters are told they can expect if the national carbon pricing mechanism is repealed by the Abbott Government will not come anywhere near compensating for those additional taxes paid, superannuation foregone or concessions/benefits lost by individuals and families.

1 comment:

John Fraser said...

"In other words cost of living was never a genuine issue during the federal election campaign "

Most Australians are waking up to the fact that Murdoch and Abbott lied to them.

The Abbott gang still cannot bring themselves to tell the truth, even now that they have power, and are now trying to hide from the media.