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There’s a reason you’re feeling no better off than 10 years ago. Here’s what HILDA says about well-being

Peter Martin writes in The Conversation (30.7.19) about the latest findings from the University of Melbourne’s Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, which shows that the typical household is worse off than ten years ago.

‘During the election campaign then-opposition leader Bill Shorten repeatedly claimed that everything was going up.

‘“Childcare is up 28%, out of pockets to see the doctor up 20%, specialists … up nearly 40%,” he said. And then the punchline: “everything is going up, except your wages.”

‘Statistically, it wasn’t true. The official rate of inflation was just 1.3%. The official rate of wage growth was 2.3%.

‘I haven’t asked him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he kept saying it because his focus groups told him that’s what people felt.

‘Today’s release of the 17th wave of Australia’s Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Survey (HILDA) tells us that despite the official statistics, people were right to feel they were going backwards.

‘Funded by the Australian government and managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, HILDA is one of the most valuable tools Australian social researchers have.’

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