A Choice cost-of-living survey has revealed some alarming results. 44 per cent of those surveyed believed they were living from one pay packet to the next. 32 per cent reported they were finding life difficult or very difficult financially. While only 23 per cent classified themselves as well-off.

It seems the grim times are upon us: Unemployment has reached 6.4 per cent, a 12year high. The first quarter of this year saw wages grow at 0.4% less than the consumer price index. And yet the price of electricity (84% struggling with price rises), fuel (81% struggling with price rises) and groceries ( 77 per cent struggling iwth prices rises) continue to climb.

For many vendors it’s a necessary evil. Sixty-two per cent of surveyed retailers said they had foregone holidays and large purchass because of the reduction in spending. To make up for this loss of income, they have no choice but to raise prices even further.

CEO of Choice Magazine Alan Kirkland. Photo: www.choice.com.au

CEO of Choice Magazine Alan Kirkland. Photo: www.choice.com.au

But the survey saved the worst for last: Australians are concerned about their longer term futures as well. Sixty-five per cent of respondents were concerned about their level of savings; fifty-three per cent with their retirement nest egg; and forty seven per cent were undergoing debt stress.

The government spending cuts are promising more pain for a longer gain. Seventy-two per cent of those surveyed said the cut would hurt them even more than they are hurting now.

It seems likely the next few years will see a great deal of economically displaced people. Whether or not the government has budgeted for their care remains to be seen.

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