The pressures associated with our cost of living is the oft-repeated Abbott siren song, but I recently read a report by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) headlined “Household incomes outpacing the cost of living – but bigger lifestyles and aspirations adding to cost of living pressures”.
What is this report actually trying to tell us – that Australians’ cost of living has not gone up, but that the cost of their lifestyle has? Because if we’re being honest with ourselves, there is a subtle but considerably significant difference between cost of living and cost of lifestyle.
Not in The Guardian at least. For they champion something called the Living Wage. Which takes as its basic point that a living wage, or not being in poverty, is something calibrated to the general lifestyle, not something measured against some unchanging standard of living. So if that general lifestyle goes up then so should everyone\’s incomes.