Cost of living

Australians forgo outings to pay power bills

New research shows one in 10 consumers are prepared to stop going out just to pay their power bills.

Comparison website finder.com.au said its survey revealed that 70 per cent of respondents, equivalent to 13 million Australians, were actively taking measures to fight the rise in energy prices.

One third said they were reducing their energy usage, while a further 15 per cent had called their provider to ask for a better deal.

The highs and lows of the 'Baby Boomer budget'

This week’s Federal Budget has delivered a mixed bag of initiatives for older Australians, according to National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke.

Mr Henschke said what was promoted as a “budget for Baby Boomers” fell short of expectations, but wasn’t without some bright spots.

The National Seniors policy team has put together the following summary of the budget from the perspective of seniors.

Employment

Seniors suffering because of rising costs

Many older Australians were struggling to maintain even a modest standard of living because of spiralling power, health and other costs, National Seniors Australia said today.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the impacts of rising costs were exacerbated by government rules preventing seniors from earning more than $6,500 a year without losing part of their Age Pension.

Bupa calls for pensioners to pay more for care

A shock increase in aged care costs could be included in this year’s Federal Budget if Treasury heeds a call to force pensioners to pay more for nursing home services, according to a report this week on retirement website YourLifeChoices.

The proposal by insurance company Bupa recommends that the capped value of people’s homes be increased from the current $162,087.20, so those with valuable homes are asked to pay more for care.

Aircon habit costs up to $1.3 billion

One in five Australians leave their air conditioning running when they are not at home – a habit expected to waste an estimated $1.3 billion this summer.

A new survey by comparison website finder.com.au revealed that 23 per cent of Australians or 2.3 million households wasted an average of 4.1 hours in energy per day at a cost of $578 per household each quarter. 

This works out to a cost of up to $1.3 billion in wasted energy expenditure over summer while these homes are sitting empty or an added $578 per household quarterly electricity bill.

Downsizing off agenda for 40 percent of seniors

Home is where the heart is, and for more than 40 per cent of older Australians, it determines where they live in retirement.

National Seniors’ new research report reveals that while many Australians consider downsizing to a smaller house when they retire, a substantial proportion of older homeowners rule it out because they don’t want to leave their house, neighbourhood and community.

Singles on low incomes locked out of NSW

Many single people on pensions or benefits cannot find affordable rental accommodation in New South Wales, according to housing advocacy group Shelter NSW.

Its chief executive, Karen Walsh, said governments needed to address the shortfall of around 100,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the state.

“The RAI (Rental Affordability Index) clearly shows that our current housing system is not ‘fit for purpose’,” Ms Walsh said.

Rising energy prices are our biggest single concern, survey shows

Soaring energy prices are the biggest single domestic issue facing Australians, a new study has found.

The national survey by Roy Morgan Research showed that unemployment, housing affordability, the gap between rich and poor, and the economy in general were mentioned by 29 per cent of survey respondents.

But just over 14 per cent singled out energy – its infrastructure, reliability and price. This was up from 11 per cent since the last issues survey in the middle of the year.

Have your say about the issues that matter most

A quick word of thanks to the more than 4000 members who have taken the time to complete our advocacy survey.

It’s the first time we’ve done an in-depth analysis of what your thoughts are on such a wide range of issues: everything from downsizing your home to medically assisted dying.

When I travel around meeting members, they often take the opportunity to share their ideas on issues they are passionate about.

That’s great, but I know there are members all over Australia who - for whatever reason - I can’t meet and talk to.

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