Extract from an article by Ross Gittins
Speaking of the cost of living, how much do you need to live on? Surveys show most people’s answer is: just a bit more than I’m getting at present. Trouble is, they keep saying that no matter how much their income rises.
One way to convince yourself you’re not doing all that well is to compare what you earn with people of your acquaintance who’re earning a lot more than you.
A better assessment would be to compare your finances with those of people a lot closer to the bottom – if only you knew any.
Not to worry. On Wednesday, Professor Peter Saunders and Megan Bedford, of the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW, will publish new “budget standards” for low-paid and unemployed Australians.
The study was funded by the Australian Research Council, with a quarter of the cost covered by donations from Catholic Social Services Australia, the United Voice union and the Australian Council of Social Service.
In a painstaking exercise, the researchers have put together, and costed, the baskets of goods and services different-sized families at these income levels would need to allow each individual – adult or child – to lead a fully healthy life.
So it’s not a poverty line and it does take account of prevailing community standards, but it’s the minimum amount required to satisfy basic needs..(continues)
SOURCE: Ross Gittins, “Revealed: the minimum income for a healthy life and how the dole falls way short”, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August 2017
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia