The cost of living in Tasmania is a topical issue and some news has just come out which seems to indicate that the cost of living is not increasing as rapidly as claimed.

Is it more expensive to live in Tasmania than the rest of the country? Is the mainland cheaper? Well housing is cheaper in Tasmania I think but we don’t have electricity or gas competition – there is only one company that supplies electricity to individual consumers – Aurora. Power bills have certainly increased dramatically over the last few years.

Here’s the recent story from the Mercury regarding cost of living pressures:

Stats blow budget costs belief

CONTRARY to popular perception, the proportion of household income spent on housing, power and petrol has not risen dramatically in the past six years, new figures show.

The proportion of average household expenditure on housing costs in Tasmania has risen by just 2.5 per cent since 2004, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

And the figures suggest that the rising cost of electricity and domestic fuel has not had the predicted devastating impact on household budgets: Tasmanians are spending slightly less on power and fuel as a proportion of total expenditure than they were six years ago.

But welfare groups questioned whether the ABS survey was an accurate reflection of the pressures of making essential purchases on the state’s lowest income earners.

Tasmanian Council of Social Service CEO Tony Reidy said the 49 per cent rise in electricity charges in the past five years had been “very difficult” for some households to meet.

The survey does point to a widening gap between rich and poor. The costs of housing, power and fuel for those in the bottom 20 per cent of income have risen proportionally more than those in the top 20 per cent.

For Rokeby couple Emily and Alex Banks, most of their income is spent on rent and childcare for their two-year-old son Daniel. They both work full-time.

“Before Emily worked we struggled,” Mr Banks, 23, said.

Mrs Banks, 20, said: “If you’ve got more than one child, my hat’s off to you. I don’t know how you would survive.”

— by MADELEINE FIGG, a journalism student at the University of Tasmania.

What have you personally found regarding the cost of living in Tasmania? Is it more expensive than the mainland? Do the shorter commutes so less money on petrol make up for other things? Is it good to finally have no toll roads unlike Melbourne!

We would love to hear your opinion.


Photo Credit: Images_of_Money via Compfight cc