Rent, Petrol, And Veggies: How Your Staples Are Being Smashed By Inflation
Fuel hit an all-time high, chicken nuggets are cheaper than lettuce, and the housing crisis is "fever pitch".
From petrol prices to the prices of god-darn iceberg lettuce, rising inflation figures are probably affecting you more than you realise.
This week a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that inflation figures are currently sitting at 5.1 percent, the highest they’ve been in two decades. The surge signals that life is going to get a whole lot more expensive for people living in Australia, so let’s break down what’s going up in price.
Rental Affordability Is Getting Worse
A report from Anglicare Australia has revealed that rising inflation is making it harder for renters in Australia to make ends meet. Rental affordability, calculated when an individual spends less than 30 percent of their income on rent, is fast becoming a fantasy; especially for those on Centrelink.
In their snapshot report of over 45,000 rentals in Australia, Anglicare revealed that only a slim amount of properties across the country were affordable for people on government support.
The report found that:
- 51 rentals were affordable for a person on the Disability Support Pension
- Seven rentals — all share houses — were affordable for a person on JobSeeker
- One share house was affordable for a person on Youth Allowance
Anglicare CEO Kasy Chambers warned that the rising costs of living in Australia, combined with limited housing affordability worsened by disasters like the recent East Coast floods, meant that housing was the biggest cost facing Australians.
“Australia’s housing crisis has reached fever pitch,” Chambers says in a statement seen by Junkee. “No part of the country has been spared. Rents are shooting up in towns and regions, and our cities have never been more expensive. People on low incomes don’t stand a chance. Less than two percent of rentals are affordable for a full-time worker on the minimum wage. For a person out of work, it’s zero percent.”
Petrol Has Risen To The Highest Levels Since The 1990s
Fuel prices have risen to levels unseen since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s.
The ABS noted that the cost of petrol rose by 11 percent this year, and according to The Guardian is currently 22 percent higher than before the pandemic.
While the government has tried to ease rising petrol prices by temporarily cutting the fuel excise in half — which, according to the ACCC has effectively lowered petrol prices in the short-term — both Labor and Liberal leaders are hesitant to make any extensions of the excise cut beyond September.
Fresh Veggies and Meat Are Getting Expensive
Worryingly, one of the biggest impacts on household inflation at the moment is on food: from fresh veggies and meat to takeaway meals.
The ABS found that groceries like fruit and vegetables had risen by a whopping 5.8 percent since the start of the year, with meat and seafood products rising by 4.8 percent. Chief Executive Officer of Dieticians Australia Robert Hunt recently warned that a 10-pack of chicken nuggets was currently cheaper than a single iceberg lettuce, according to a report from news.com.au.
“Who would blame a family with $5 for choosing one over the other? This is a systemic problem,” Hunt said.
Combined with the stagnant wage growth, Australians have already copped an $800 pay cut in 2021. Let’s hope that relief comes soon after the results of the election.