Pensioners suffer largest increase in living costs since 2006
Posted On May 4, 2022
Australian pensioners are enduring the highest increase in living costs in 16 years, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed.
The annual increase in living costs hit 4.9 per cent for age pensioner households – households whose main source of income is the pension – marking the largest increase since the September 2006 quarter.
When measured on a quarterly (or three-month) basis, age pensioner households recorded the largest rise in living costs since September 2000.
Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS Michelle Marquardt said pensioners were being impacted by jumps in the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages as groceries comprise a greater proportion of their average expenses.
“These households were also more affected by increases in housing costs, as they have relatively higher expenditure levels on utilities, maintenance and repair, and property rates,” Ms Marquardt said.
“Automotive fuel and food prices contributed to higher living costs for all Australian households, with fuel prices increasing by around 35 per cent and food prices rising by more than four per cent in the past 12 months.”
The severe increase comes off the back of market-beating inflation data released last week that showed all Australians were suffering from the largest quarterly and annual increase in inflation since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2000.
The annual price inflation for petrol was also recorded to be the highest since Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Startling rates of inflation specifically for pensioners comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his government would freeze the deeming rate for pensioners for two years.
The deeming rate is a financial measure the government uses to assess how much money pensioners are receiving off investments, with a freeze on the rate estimated to save some pensioners up to $1300 a year.
“What we’re announcing here on deeming rates is about giving self-funded retirees and pensioners a fair go. They’ve saved hard for their retirement,” Mr Morrison said.
“They’ve been doing it tough over the last two or three years as well.
“We want to ensure that they have a fair go going forward and that’s what our economic shield is all about.”
Is the age pension not enough to cover your daily expenses? We want to hear from you. Get in touch with reporter Stuart Marsh via [email protected]