The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the annual rate of headline inflation in the December quarter edged up to 2.2% from 2% and the core inflation rate remained around 2.3%.
Domestic cost pressures remain of concern, with non-tradeables (essentially domestically produced goods and services such as domestically sourced meat, pets, newspapers, takeaway food and new dwelling purchases) rising by 0.7% in the quarter and 3.9% over the year.
Over 2012 the cost of electricity rose 17.7%, and the cost of gas and other household fuels has risen 17.3%. These have been directly impacted by the carbon tax and the government could relieve cost pressures in this area by abolishing the carbon tax.
Given Wayne Swan told us on Budget night in 2011 that “meandering back to surplus…would compound the pressures in our economy and push up the cost of living for pensioners and working people”, the Treasurer must come clean on how his broken promise to return the Budget to surplus will impact on the cost of living of Australian households.