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Government NSW, Industrial Relations

Cost-of-living crisis eating into Christmas lunch

Unions NSW 2 mins read

Four in ten people will be cutting back this on their Christmas lunch spend because of the cost-of-living crisis, with price pain blame equally shared among the big end of town, Reserve Bank, and Federal Government.

New polling commissioned by Unions NSW shows more than half (53%) say their household financial situation is worse off now than a year ago. Even those with a household income above $150,000 (49%) are feeling the pain.

Rising cost-of-living pressures mean 42% of people plan to cut back on their Christmas lunch spend, while 56% are spending less on presents.

“Corporate profiteering is literally eating our Christmas lunch this year. There will be fewer presents under the tree,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said.

“While corporate Australia has padded its profits, 13 interest rate rises in 18 months have pushed ordinary workers back against the wall to make ends meet.

“Not even people on moderate incomes are safe from cascading price pain expected to linger well into 2024.

“Most cannot see things getting better next year, including a decent chunk who fear their financial situation will continue deteriorating.”

Pyxis Polling & Insights surveyed 1024 people in NSW in December. More than half (55%) point to the federal government as the biggest culprit for spiralling costs, followed by the Reserve Bank (50%), corporate Australia and big business (47%), and the NSW government (36%).

More than half also (52%) say the four per cent wage rise granted this year to NSW public sector workers in June is not enough to retain essential workers the state needs, while just 19% think it is adequate.

Seven in ten say their incomes have not kept up with the cost of living, especially Gen Xers (75%) and Boomers (77%). People who live outside of Greater Sydney are more likely to say they’ve gone backwards (59%).

Eight in ten do not expect things to improve over the coming year, including 37% who expect things to worsen.

“We welcome the NSW government coming to the table with better wage deals for key workers. But the depth and extent of the cost-of-living crisis, and a 12-year wage cap, means there is a lot of catching up to do,” Morey said.

“This polling is also a warning sign to the federal government. Banking surpluses at the expense of cost of living is a dangerous path. Workers need relief.

“Federal Labor needs to take a close look at tax breaks for housing investors which cost billions but fail to deliver. That money would be far better spent expanding the supply of essential worker housing, especially for those on low and modest incomes.

“HECS debts are another financial burden that need to be lifted.  As housing prices soar, too many young Australians simply can’t get ahead when they are paying back HECS debts that are several times larger than those of previous generations.

“Finally, the Reserve Bank must suspend its sadism and start looking to cut rates. This polling shows  pessimism among Australian households which will translate to weak economic demand. It would be nice if the central bank was, for once, ahead of the curve rather than responding to the trends of six months ago.”

Contact details:

Interviews: Nick Lucchinelli 0422229032

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