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Family living costs are out of control and rising.

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MEDIA RELEASE SF/180. Thursday August 30, 2007


Families are really struggling to make ends meet with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures this week showing living costs for workers and their families are rising 50 per cent faster than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

"Talking to people on the street in suburban and regional areas, they are really struggling with skyrocketing grocery, petrol and electricity prices," Family First leader Steve Fielding said.

"Financial pressures put so much strain on families and relationships, which is why Family First has been campaigning for action to reduce the cost of living.

"Families are facing soaring prices on a number of fronts:  Food prices have consistently risen faster than CPI over the past 20 years. Last year food inflation in Australia was almost 10 per cent;  Petrol prices remain high at almost $1.30 a litre in most state capitals;  Bank penalty fees for credit cards which are over the limit have climbed

500 per cent over the last five years from $6 to $30.

"Families have also been slugged by a $180 (22 per cent) hike in the average annual cost of electricity since 2000, according to analysis of the electricity component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

"Families in Melbourne pay $140 more (up by 16 per cent) in 2006-07 than in 2000-01, Sydney families pay $236 more (up 30 per cent), Brisbane families pay $186 more (up 22 per cent), Adelaide families pay $250 more (up 33 per cent), Hobart families pay $143 more (up 16 per cent), Canberra families pay $216 more (up 27 per cent), while Darwin and Perth prices were steady.

"Family First has an action plan to reduce the cost of living by cutting petrol tax by 10 cents a litre, stopping exorbitant bank penalty fees and creating real competition to keep grocery prices low by outlawing predatory pricing." For media enquiries phone acting media adviser Jeremy Stuparich on 0411 233 937