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Beneficiaries, smokers feel increasing cost tightening

Families say they are struggling to survive.


Families say they are struggling to survive.

Families say the cost of living is rising at a faster rate than their incomes, and that is putting budgets under pressure.

Auckland woman Mandy Te Rangihaeata said she has noticed an increase in her particular grocery bill in recent months.

"We have really specific food needs, so fresh produce and meats and many of the things we use for snacks have made our tight budget even tighter."

She stays home with her two children while her husband works.

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"Looking at daycare costs for my youngest son and after school for my eldest, it simply does not make sense for me to be working either," she said.

"We would lose almost all the payment on a weekly basis just paying for the children, and we have another one on the way in about 10 weeks, so it's not a good option financially."

She hopes the situation will get worse over time.

"I'm thinking of growing a lot of what we eat next spring just to try to get some of the low costs as well Since we do not have luxury items – we do not use the heat pump and the heaters until absolutely necessary, my husband bathes at work to reduce the water bill, "said Te Rangihaeata.

Another Aucklander, Esdah Moimoi, works up to 45 hours per week as a commercial cleaning supervisor while her partner is at home with the children.

But she said it worked hard only to feel broken again at the end of each payment cycle.

"Honestly, if it were not for the groups that help the needy on Facebook and the administrative staff on which I am taking care of, I would have given up earlier," she said.

"We do our best to make noodles and toasts or toasts or eggs on toast or sweet rice or packets, just the flour and sugar incredible and deep, because we are listening like this for days until we can afford to get meat."

Across New Zealand, households saw a 0.1% increase in the cost of living in the March quarter, according to Stats NZ.

But this was limited by a 6.9% drop in gasoline prices in the period.

The beneficiaries were in a worse situation – their cost of living rose by 0.6%, driven in large part by the increase in the tobacco tax.

A cigarette cost about $ 1.50 in the March 2019 quarter, down from 54 cents a decade ago, in part because of the steady increase in taxes over the last 10 years, "said Gael Price, the consumer price manager.

"Cigarettes and tobacco account for about 4.1% of all spending for beneficiaries, compared with 2.5% for all households.

Maori families were also affected by the increase in the tax on cigarette consumption, as cigarettes and tobacco account for about 4.8% of their spending.

"Therefore, changes in the prices of tobacco products have more impact on beneficiaries and Maori families than other families."

The cost of living fell 0.2% in the three months to the families with higher expenses due to the decline in the cost of gasoline and international airfare.

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