Thursday, September 08, 2011

Article Proclaiming That Living Standards In Australia Have Risen

If you, living in Australia, thought that living standards had dropped between 2003-4 and 2009-10, then, according to this article, you'd be wrong. In that timeframe household spend has increased by 38% but the CPI (Consumer Price Index) has only risen 19%. Therefore, we're spending more of our money enjoying ourselves. Or so they tell us.

I'm concerned by CommSec chief economist Craig James's quote - "Australians have continued to get richer over time and thus are spending a greater proportion of their incomes on non-essential goods and services like pay TV connections and the internet." Since when was the Internet non-essential? If that is the case why must we have a A$43b NBN (National Broadband Network) so that everyman and his dog in this country has access to expensive, fast broadband? I find it difficult to remember how I paid all the bills prior to the Internet coming along and being a part of my everyday life so I pretty much consider it to be essential.

Some of the figures in the article, results from a conducted survey, raise concern.

- We're paying 68% more on rent payments. I don't see how that means our standard of living has increased. We're very unlikely to be living in a penthouse and more likely to be living in the same box we were back then. It's just that the landlord is creaming more from his investment.

- We're paying 95% more on pay TV. Doesn't this mean that the pay TV operators have become much better at offering introductory packages that don't show you what you really want to see, such as the EPL or quality documentaries/movies, and more of us are forking out more dosh for the few programs that are really worth seeing? I'm certainly not rich enough to hand over $50/mth for some basic TV and, I dunno, $70~$100/mth for only a couple of programs actually worth watching.

- We're paying 50% more on fast food and meals out. Maybe that's because we're too busy working hard to pay all of these bills or just don't know how to cook anymore. Anyone with a bit of sense knows that it's cheaper to make a healthy meal than to buy takeaway. Are we just buying less at restaurants and have downgraded our eating out?

- We're paying 84% on childcare payments. How does that equate with a rise in the standard of living? Childcare workers now require better training and a lower ratio of carer:child therefore of course it's going to cost more for this facility. The article also states that the average household size increased from 2.53 to 2.57 people. Quite obviously we have more of the little tackers to send to childcare in the first place.

Sorry, I don't quite read the same obvious standard of living rises that this article wants us to believe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is good. Please be hopeful for Americans.Things are not good in America. Thanks, Gill