CTU Media Release
17 January 2008
Workers feel cost squeeze
“Higher food and petrol prices alongside a lift in mortgage interest rates mean that workers are feeling the cost pressures as we start the year”, said Peter Conway, CTU Economist.
The Consumer Price Index was updated today and showed a 1.2 percent rise in the December quarter, taking annual inflation to 3.2 percent.
Peter Conway said that workers and their families are in particular noticing the impact of higher grocery prices. The Food Price Index also released today showed a lift of 5.4 percent in food prices in 2007 with a 7.8 percent increase in grocery food prices, and meat and fish prices up by 6 percent. This is very tough on low income families.
Another major concern is the big lift in 2007 in petrol prices which rose by 16.9 percent over the year.
While incomes have been going up for some workers and there has been a lift in the minimum wage and income support through Working for Families, the higher cost of living will be a factor that unions take into consideration in wage bargaining this year.