Business

High costs eat into budget

Long-time Mackay couple Jeff and Trish Fisher disagree with the report, saying they were far better off in the 1980s, particularly when it came to rent. Meeting the cost of living in Mackay has become a major struggle for low to average income earners and those new to the region.
Long-time Mackay couple Jeff and Trish Fisher disagree with the report, saying they were far better off in the 1980s, particularly when it came to rent. Meeting the cost of living in Mackay has become a major struggle for low to average income earners and those new to the region. Lee Constable

YOU'RE $224 better off now than you were in 1984 - you just don't know it.

According to the Income and Wealth report by AMP.NATSEM, Australians' income has risen by at least 22% in the past 28 years.

But the cost of electricity, petrol, rent and public transport has risen by a combined 971%.

Meeting the cost of living in Mackay is a struggle for low to average income earners, Regional Social Development Centre social development director Deborah Rae said.

"You have to consider the situation in Mackay," Ms Rae said.

"The fact is the cost of living in Mackay is very high.

"Reports have shown the costs of some foods are higher in this region and we have to pay more to access services.

"For example, having to travel out of the region for medical specialist appointments; that will incur additional costs."

New residents were also suffering, Ms Rae said.

"People who come to the region don't have the same support (here) as they did (before moving)," she said.

"They have to pay for services like babysitting.

"More people also have to pay for house cleaning or dog walking, because they're too busy."

East Mackay couple Jeff and Trish Fisher said their children were still living at home, partly as a result of Mackay's high rental prices.

"When my first child was born in the '80s it was much cheaper," Mr Fisher said.

"Renting a two-bedroom unit was $200 a week.

"But now it's about $300-$400 (in Mackay). So someone's making a lot of money."

Mrs Fisher said their family's private health insurance payments had risen.

"I've got to pay $250 up front.

"Our 21-year-old daughter is a part of that membership," she said.

 

PRICE SHIFTS SINCE 1984

  • Tobacco has increased by 9.2%
  • Medical and hospital bills have increased by 7.2%
  • Spirits prices have risen by 4.9% as has fruit and secondary education
  • Audio visual and computing equipment has fallen by 8.1%
  • Sporting and camping equipment has dropped by 0.12%

Topics:  bills, budget, costs, electricity, federal budget 2012, food, income, rent



Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Unlike: the Facebook scam targeting Bundy businesses

ALARM BELLS: Cool Bananas co-owner Sharlene Gemming managed to avoid the phishing trap. Photo: Eliza Goetze / NewsMail

Scammers are targetting local cafes on Facebook

Local Partners

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state