According to figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, for the year to the end of the March quarter, the cost of living for pensioners rose only 1.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent for self-funded retirees. When compared with the consumer price index (CPI) which rose 1.6 per cent, this is a positive change for a group of Australians still struggling with a shortfall of $75 per week.
The figures are based on the consumption patterns of each group and, unlike the CPI, they include rises and falls in mortgage and other interest rates.
The cost of living for a pensioner has grown at a slower rate in the past year due to a dramatic fall in food costs. The major gains have been in pensioner’s incomes, which rose 3.8 per cent in 2011, due to being indexed at the higher rate of either the CPI or average weekly earnings figures.
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