According to statements made by the treasurer of Australia (Mr Swan) over the last twelve months or so Australians have almost never had it so good when it comes to money. Apparently, due to almost magical economic management by the current Labor government (insert first ‘cough’ here), combined with the flow-on benefits to everyone from the current mining boom (second ‘cough’ goes here), we all have more disposable income and are saving more than at anytime in the last five years.
I can clearly recall the statement being made by the treasurer sometime around Christmas that the average household had 13 percent more disposable income in 2011 than they did in 2010. Additionally we were all saving more which was why, so it seems, that we were not spending money and hence the retail industry was suffering. Indirectly the treasurer told us to all stop saving so much and to go and spend more to help the retail industry. Remember that?
At the time I recall thinking to myself “Well that sure does not apply to my household” because my ‘household’—which comprises me and my non-working wife and son—was not putting any additional money into savings. In fact my savings account decreased by $8,000 in 2011 and has decreased a bit further so far this year (mainly due to some upgrades around the house—paving and such).
One in two workers live “dangerously close to the financial brink” with less than one month’s cash as a safety net.
To read the full story you can click on either of the images. They both link over to the article (don’t forget to use Ctrl+Click to open the article in a new Tab).
From where I sit the position seems much closer to that outlined in the news.com.au article than the view being sold to us by the treasurer. I have not put anything into savings in the last four or five years. The savings I have now are the saving I had five years ago less money we have withdrawn for some improvements around the house; and with the current cost of labour any work around the house (such as paving) starts at $3,500 and goes up from there.
Basically I have got to the point where I just about don’t believe anything the current government tells us. In my 40+ years of being aware of what government is in power or who the Prime Minister is I have never known a federal government that seemed to live so much in a fairly tale make-believe land.
The carbon tax that engages on the 1st of July won’t increase prices ... Yeah! Sure! As if. One thing is certain, the carbon tax is not going to stop one single gram of carbon going into the atmosphere! In fact, as pointed out by some industry leaders, it will likely cause more carbon to be produced as industry increases output slightly to make some extra cash to cover the carbon tax.