Cost and standard of living
Cost of living
Standard of living
“It’s hell”: how inadequate income support is causing harm
The surging cost of living is having a devastating impact for people on income support, according to this report by ACOSS. Researchers surveyed 365 people living on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment over February and March 2023, finding income support payments are completely inadequate.
Poverty in Australia 2023: who is affected
This report uses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to identify the groups facing the highest risk of poverty and the groups of people most likely to be living in poverty.
State of the sector 2022
QCOSS’ annual 'State of the sector' report highlights emerging issues, and challenges identified by the social services sector, based on recent feedback and engagement.
Profit-price spiral: the truth behind Australia’s inflation
The focus in current anti-inflation policy on suppressing wage growth, enforcing a permanent reduction in real wages, while ignoring the role of record profits in driving post-pandemic inflation reflects an ahistorical and ideological approach to macroeconomic management, writes Jim Stanford.
A decade of wages lost
This report sheds light on the scale and impact of the Australia's nominal wage increases and their recent decline.
The morality of growth
The economic turmoil of recent years has seen a renewed focus on Britain’s failure to grow. This essay, by CPS Director Robert Colvile, sets out how this is a much longer-term problem than we think – that the growth ceiling of the British economy has...
Green investment: the prudent choice for prosperity
This paper sets out how to increase public spending on climate and nature in the United Kingdom, at speed - to maximise economic opportunities and ensure ongoing public support.
Living affordability in Queensland: December 2022
This report documents the impacts of high inflation, rising energy costs and low housing affordability, which are key drivers of financial hardship for Queensland households. Low-income households are spending most of their income on basic goods and services, such as food, housing and energy, with...
Economic and other wellbeing in Australia – October 2022
This paper describes the trends, variation and determinants of wellbeing over the tumultuous period since COVID-19 first reached Australia and up until October 2022, with a particular focus on changes in economic wellbeing.
Mind the gap: identifying the gap between energy concession eligibility and concessions received
Ensuring low-income consumers receive concessions is direct cost-of-living support to improve affordability of energy bills. This report highlights the gap between those eligible for an energy concession and those receiving this concession on their energy bills.
'Can't afford to live': The impact of the rising cost of living on Victorians and Tasmanians on low incomes
This report provides evidence that the rising cost of living is deepening financial, housing and food insecurity, and impacting mental and physical health, while also increasing social isolation.
Poverty in Australia 2022: a snapshot
This report provides a brief overview of levels of poverty - overall and among adults and children – following the recent release of Australian Bureau of Statistics data on household incomes in 2019-20. It examines trends in poverty since 1999, and through each quarter of...
Switch and save: how gas is costing households
This report presents new analysis on exactly how expensive gas appliances are to run compared to the electrical alternatives, and how much households can save over the long term from switching.
How JobSeeker and other income support payments are falling behind the cost of living
The findings of this report highlight the urgent need to increase base rates of income support to at least $70 a day to ensure that people on the lowest incomes are not left behind. ACOSS urges the federal government to lift incomes in the October...
Power up: ten climate gamechangers
Australia is already suffering significant losses from climate change. The authors of this report argue that accelerating the nation's energy transition will increase energy security and affordability, boost productivity, and ensure we get on a trajectory of steep emissions reductions.
Addressing rising energy bills: what could the new prime minister do?
UK households are experiencing a severe cost of living crisis. Annualised bills for a typical household are currently rapidly. The UK government has already provided some support, but more is likely to be needed. This paper lays out the government’s options.
Tough times, hard choices
NCOSS' annual 'Cost of living in NSW' research investigates cost-of-living pressures for people living below the poverty line and low-income households in New South Wales. The report explores experiences across a range of issues such as housing, employment, income and financial hardship.
Inflation and the cost of living: policy debates and practices
This paper examines some of the reasons why governments approach inflation the way they do and surveys some recent contributions to the policy debate.
Comparative analysis of cost of living
Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by the Western Australian Treasury to undertake a comparative analysis of cost of living between Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; and between the major regional centres of Bunbury, Newcastle, Geelong and Sunshine Coast. The purpose of the report is to...
Are wages or profits driving Australia’s inflation? An analysis of the National Accounts
The distributional consequences of record high profits and record low real wage growth have been widely discussed in Australia recently, but the data presented in this paper suggests that rising profits are now the major driver of inflation.
E-change and remote work in Australia
This report is about ‘e-changers’ - a significant and growing segment of the population who have chosen to move from the city to regional and coastal areas while maintaining their city jobs.
Prices and profits after the pandemic
This analysis shows that the profits of the largest non-financial companies were up 34 per cent at the end of 2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels – rising significantly faster than inflation and wage growth. This report argues that some firms could have considerable market power...
Wages, prices, and the 2022 federal election
The recent federal election featured important debate regarding the recent acceleration of inflation in Australia, and whether and how wages should be boosted to keep up with higher prices. This briefing paper reviews the detailed findings of an exit poll regarding wages, prices and the...
Feeling the pinch
This report explores how Australian Service Union members working in clerical and administrative roles in the private sector are faring under these conditions. It provides insight into their wages and their satisfaction with their wages, their perceptions around their financial situation and the cost of...
Wage norms and the link to public sector salary caps
This report examines the escalating cost of living and retention crisis for New South Wales public sector workers.