Top bureaucrat’s warning on threat to living standards

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jul-19

The Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet’s outgoing secretary Martin Parkinson says Australia’s productivity growth has fallen below global standards. He warns that growth in Australia’s living standards will decline over the next decade unless action is taken to boost productivity. Parkinson adds that political instability and policy uncertainty may have contributed to the fall in productivity over the last decade.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Australian workers not saving enough to handle a job loss

Original article by Killian Plastow
The New Daily – Page: Online : 11-Jul-19

Research by Finder shows that 5.9 million Australian workers have insufficient savings to support themselves for more than a month if they lost their job. The survey also found that 2.1 million Australians would be unable to financially support themselves for more than a week. Separate research by Roy Morgan shows that Australians have an average of six months’ worth of savings, although the median is about 0.8 months, or 24 days. CEO Michele Levine says people on low incomes would be hardest hit by a sudden job loss, as they are less likely to have savings.

CORPORATES
FINDER.COM.AU, ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Minimum wage nowhere near keeping pace with rents

Original article by Killian Plastow
The New Daily – Page: Online : 4-Jun-19

The Fair Work Commission cited a fall in inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index, as the reason for a smaller increase in the minimum wage in 2019 than in 2018. Anglicare executive director Kasy Chambers notes that the CPI is based on a ‘basket of goods’ that does not include rent or housing costs. She says the CPI has only increased by 63 per cent since 1998, while housing costs have risen by 300 per cent over the same period. Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman notes that there are other data sets that examine the sort of housing costs that Anglicare is referring to, but that the CPI was not intended to measure them.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ANGLICARE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Cost of living climbs for pensioners

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 2-May-19

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there was no increase in the cost of living for wage and salary earners during the March quarter, although there has been a year-on-year increase of 1.4 per cent. The figures also show that the cost of living for age pension recipients rose by 0.3 per cent during the March quarter, although the cost of living for self-funded retirees fell by 0.2 per cent. Labor has contended that prices are rising at at time when wages growth is stagnant.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Inequality flatlines in Australia

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 8 : 1-Mar-19

The OECD contends that there has been no increase in inequality in Australia in the last 15 years, which is at odds with Labor’s claim that inequality is rising. The OECD states that the income of the poorest 20 per cent of the population has risen the most since 2001, while middle-income earners have seen the lowest increase in income. It suggests that this is because workers in this income bracket are most vulnerable to automation. The OECD’s study was based on the Melbourne Institute’s Household Income and Labor Dynamics (HILDA) survey, with the OECD stating that income inequality in Australia is above the OECD average.

CORPORATES
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH

Incomes lagging rise in cost of living

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 4 : 7-Feb-19

The Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research & Methods estimates that household income has increased by 8.5 per cent over the last three years. However, the increase in the cost of living over this period means that real income per person has fallen by 2.9 per cent. The analysis also shows that so-called bracket creep saw personal income tax payments rise by 20 per cent to $57.4bn over the three years to 2018, while total disposable income increased by just 7.1 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY. CENTRE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH AND METHODS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Wage rises outpacing living costs

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Sep-18

Labour market economist Mark Wooden says that Australia has recorded 31 per cent growth in wages over the last decade, while inflation has increased by just 22 per cent over this period. The director of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia survey notes that the cost of living has not increased significantly in the last year, with big rises in the cost of petrol and electricity being offset by lower prices for some consumer goods. Professor Wooden adds that the HILDA data shows that income inequality has eased slightly in recent years. The HILDA survey is conducted by the University of Melbourne with interviewing conducted by Roy Morgan.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Public sector costs squeeze households

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jan-18

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest household expenditure survey shows that consumers’ spending on essential services has risen by 23 per cent since 2009-10. Electricity, education and childcare are among the services for which household expenditure has risen sharply over the last six years. Meanwhile, household spending on food has increased by 15 per cent over this period, while there has been 46.9 per cent growth in expenditure on holidays.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING

PM, Shorten to go to battle on cost of living

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 15-Jan-18

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will return from their summer break in the week beginning 15 January. They will both highlight their parties’ policies aimed at addressing electors’ concerns about the rising cost of living. Turnbull and Shorten will both also start the new political year with their leadership credentials again under scrutiny, while Labor may face the prospect of having to contest up to four by-elections as a result of the dual citizenship crisis.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, LIBERAL-NATIONAL PARTY OF QUEENSLAND

Penalty cuts ‘not offset by wage rises’

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 9-Jun-17

ACTU secretary Sally McManus says research undertaken by the Australia Institute debunks claims that a minimum wage increase will offset Sunday penalty rate cuts. The Institute has concluded that the real value of wages earned by someone working on Sundays will decline by almost 25 per cent by June 2021. The Institute’s research was based on the assumption that inflation would increase by 2.5 per cent per annum, and that the minimum wage would rise by three per cent a year.

CORPORATES
ACTU, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED