When it comes to questions of cost of living, Australians are not all that good at identifying where their household budgets are being stretched or where they are making savings.
In its most recent survey, polling company Essential Research, asked voters whether “compared to two or three years ago, is your household paying more or less for the following” and thereafter it listed 10 items. Since the end of 2014, two and a half years ago, the overall consumer price index has risen by 3.8 per cent, a modest overall gain over that time.
The respondents were spot on when it came to judging electricity and gas prices. A total of 84 per cent said that they were paying “a lot more or a little more” for their power. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since the end of 2014, electricity prices have in fact risen 7.1 per cent.In terms of insurance costs, 69 per cent indicated that they were paying more, a figure confirmed by the ABS with an 11.6 per cent rise since the end of 2014.
For medical and dental costs, 63 per cent indicated they were paying more, with just 3 per cent saying they were paying less. The ABS data indicate that medical, dental and hospital costs have risen a substantial 16.9 per cent in just two and a half years.
These results are not surprising.
Consumers were, however, wide of the mark when it came to some other items.