That’s the information. The rising cost of living pressures are simply a myth. Disposable income is down, but that’s because we’re still on the tail end of a global financial crisis (that we survived exceptionally well). It might feel a bit tougher because, on average, we don’t have as much disposable income, but that’s not the same thing.
It was interesting watching Rudd allude to this on Q&A on Monday (talking about how well our economy is doing) and really side step the issue, because it’s political suicide to tell voters they’ve got it easy. The fact is though, that we do. I understand that some people are struggling, but generally speaking we can all feed ourselves, pay our bills and have some money left over for other things. Some people are on a tight budget (and of course there are some who genuinely don’t have enough), but as a nation, we are definitely doing well.
“…Australian households have seen real incomes – disposable income minus cost of living increases – rise 15 per cent since just after Labor took office, giving the average household a $5324 a year boost, or $102 a week.” (taken from http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/life-is-much-better-under-labor-after-all-says-study-20130830-2sw8l.html – a really great/easy to read article if you want to have a look)
We have had the smallest increase in the cost of living in 25 years, even with the introduction of the carbon tax. So much for the carbon tax screwing us all the way Abbott tells us it does.
The rising costs in some areas (like power) have been offset by falling interest rates and the high value of our dollar. It’s great for us, great for importers, but terrible for exporters. Sadly for the exporters, the better we do as a nation, the harder it is to sell our products offshore.