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Victoria - Latest info


Mara
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I saw the following article in the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper yesterday, unfortunately I cannot find a link today, so I will write out the article here.

Please remember that the article referred to Victoria specifically!

Price rises hit home!

Written by Laurie Nowell and Emma Roberts.

A BASIC "comfortable" life in Victoria is now beyond the reach of the average single-income family and a struggle for the ordinary family on two wages.

An analysis of living expenses shows it costs $60,000 for families to achieve a "comfortable living standard" in Victoria - meaning a family needs to earn more than $80,000 before tax.

The average single fulltime income is $64,000 a year and the average dual-income family is earning $78,000, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Topping a list of 2010 Victorian living costs is mortgage payments. The average mortgage of $300,000 now costs more than $21,000 pa to service.

Food prices have risen by 5,7% in the past year - well above the inflation rate of 2,5% - and the average family now spends at least $250 a week to eat and drink. Council rates across Victoria have jumped 6% a year over the past decade and water, electricity and gas charges now cost the average household about $3,000 pa. The cost of power has increased by 14% a year since November 2007, compared with 3% a year between 1996 and 2007. Water has increased by 12% pa since 2007. ABS statistics show the costs of housing, education and health have each risen by an average of almost 15% in little more than two years. The data show the cost of learning has increased by 15,9% over the 10 quaterly inflation reports since November 2007. Housing rose 14,3% and health by 13,5% over the same period.

Competition law expert Prof Frank Zumbo said the lack of competitive markets in Australia was to blame for the rise in the cost of living. "It's no surprise that the biggest price increases are in those areas dominated by just a few big companies," he said. "We are seeing higher food and grocery prices because of diminance of only two supermarket chains. It's much the same story in utilities and petrol, where cosy clubs dominate the sector. The message is simple: as the number of competitors in a market shrinks, so does the level of real competition - and that's what drives up prices for struggling families. We have some of the weakest competition laws in the world and that's allowing a handful of big companies to exploit struggling Aussie families."

Demographer and social observer David Chalke said many people were worried about the size of increases in public sector bills and imminent rises in utility bills. " Local governments seem immune to any competitive process or concern for families and they seem to impose whatever charge hike they think they can get away with," he said. "It's the old Mr Micawber principle from David Copperfield: if you earn $64,000 and you spend $60,000 the result is happiness. If you are earning $50,000 and spending $60,000 the result is misery. We are close to a point where big increases in charges and domestic costs can put a lot of people under pressure. A lot of people are falling into the situation where aspirations clash with an ability to pay for the things they want. We are going to see large increases in some of these government charges because of global warming, so things could get a lot worse." Mr Chalke said.

HOUSEHOLD OUTGOINGS

Average annual fixed costs.

Mortgage - $21,300

Council Rates - $1,800

Water - $800

Electricity - $1,000

Gas - $1,300

Mobile phone - $400

Home Insurance - 1,300

Life Insurance - $1,500

Health Insurance - $2,600

Phone/Internet - $850

Car Registration - $600

Car Maintenance - $600

Car Insurance - $720

School Costs - $400

TOTAL - $35,170

Average Weekly Costs

Food/drink - $250

Entertainment - $100

Public Transport - $50

Petrol - $50

Pet Care - $10

Gifts/Birthdays - $10

ANNUAL TOTAL $24,440

GRAND TOTAL $59,610

NOT INCLUDED (ANNUAL)

Holiday - $1,200

Clothes - $1,000

Hair Cuts - $500

Home Maintenance - $1,500

Electrical goods/furniture - $400

Gardening - $240

RACV Membership (AA) - $55

Doctors bills/medication (not covered by Medical cover) - $500

Babysitting - $100

Charity/sponsorships $240

Pay TV - $550

Christmas spending - $750

TOTAL $7,035

Above sources: ABS, Choice Magazine, OECD

Cost of a basket of groceries:

Differences in price of goods, the first price was for 2000 and the last price is for 2010

Milk (1 litre) $1,35 & $2,13

Cheese (250g) $1,95 & $4,29

White bread (650g) $2,35 & $3,79

Wholemeal bread (650g) $2,35 & $3,79

Dry biscuits (250g) $1,75 & $3,30

Breadfast cereal (550g) $3,10 & $6,79

Flour (1kg) $1,65 & $2,39

Pasta (500g) $1,65 & $2,25

Rice (1kg) $1,55 & $3,25

Joint of beef (1kg) $20,00 & $24,00

Joint of lamb (1kg) $7,60 & $9,00

Joint of pork (1kg) $8,65 & $10,50

Bacon (1kg) $9,90 & $13,60

Sausages (1kg) $3,75 & $5,54

Canned salmon (210g) $2,95 & $4,94

Apples (1kg) $3,00 & $4,98

Pears (1kg) $2,95 & $2,00

Oranges (1kg) $2,80 & $3,98

Potatoes (1kg) $1,70 & $2,98

Onions (1kg) $1,60 & $2,48

Carrots (1kg) $1,55 & $1,98

Broccoli (1kg) $3,20 & $3,98

Canned fruit (450g) $1,25 & $2,14

Orange Juice (1litre) $2,55 & $3,79

Cordial (2litres) $3,40 & $4,32

Ice Cream (2litres) $4,30 & $5,59

Chocolate biscuits (200g) $2,34 & $3,99

Teabags (box of 50) $2,15 & $4,59

Instant coffee (150g) $6,20 & $7,99

Table salt (750g) $1,75 & $2,85

White sugar (2kg) $2,40 & $3,85

Butter (250g) $1,25 & $2,31

Margerine (500g) $1,95 & $3,49

Cooking oil (750ml) $2,70 & $3,69

Laundry powder (1kg) $6,15 & $9,99

Toilet paper (2pk) $1,95 & $2,57

Food wrap (60mx33cm) $3,25 & $4,69

Nappies (10x15kg) $13,50 & $20,98

Toothbrush (adult) $5,29 & $3,80

TOTALS $148,74 & $212,57

A word from Mara, please do not let the above frighten you, at the same time you have to look at the cost of living carefully. These prices are not set in concrete, you can shop around and find better prices. Also, if you keep a look out for the weekly specials at the supermarkets, and stock up at that time, then you can definitely cut your grocery bill.

Hope this information has helped some of you.

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