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Canberra Climbing the International Cost of Living Ladder

By arescarti42 - 13 June 2012 22

The 2012 Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey was released today, backing up what a lot of Canberrans probably already suspected.

Our fine city climbed 11 places up the ranking, taking it from 34th to 23rd most expensive in the world, ahead of somewhat larger cities such as London and New York, but still behind the likes of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Of course it’s worth keeping in mind that most international cost of living surveys are designed to determine the cost of living for expatriate employees, and are not terribly relevant for gauging the costs incurred by locals.

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
Canberra Climbing the International Cost of Living Ladder
1
Dilandach 9:18 am
13 Jun 12
#

Public service needs to be culled a bout 10K – 20K. Clear up the rental market, curb stomp the house prices and free up some child care places.

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2
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:23 am
13 Jun 12
#

Dilandach said :

Public service needs to be culled a bout 10K – 20K. Clear up the rental market, curb stomp the house prices and free up some child care places.

And put 10-20k people out of a job. Wonderful.

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3
rosscoact 9:27 am
13 Jun 12
#

I’m amazed that people who rely on the public service for their livelihood, and yes that would be pretty much everyone in the ACT, directly or indirectly, love to see mass redundancies.

I wonder if the people of Adelaide or Geelong feel the same about the car industry, or country towns about their abattoirs or railways, or Queensland or WA about the mining industry?

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4
johnboy 9:34 am
13 Jun 12
#

well a cutback would do wonders for diversifying the ACT economy, and for those not knee deep in investment property a decline in house prices would be a good thing.

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5
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:40 am
13 Jun 12
#

johnboy said :

well a cutback would do wonders for diversifying the ACT economy, and for those not knee deep in investment property a decline in house prices would be a good thing.

Diversification is already underway (although moving this process along would be good). There’s not enough property available for there to be a genuine crash, so any property price declines will, on average, be fairly gently and orderly.

It will still be pretty tough for many of those people who lose their jobs, however.

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6
dtc 9:48 am
13 Jun 12
#

Of course, if we translate Australian prices into USD at, say, 70c USD = $1 AUD, then suddenly we are amongst the cheapest places in the world. Or go back to 2000 when it was 50c USD = $1AUD (or 33p = $1AUD) and no Australian could afford to go overseas and we marvelled at how expensive Europe was and how people rushed to jobs there to earn the big bucks.

Prices havent increased that much relative to the rest of the world. Look at our inflation figures and think about how many things (ie everything we import) is now much cheaper

What has happened is that Australia has done quite well despite the GFC and, as a result, the AUD is now worth more in comparison to other places. So a car that cost $20k in 2002 still costs $20k, but in 2002 that was the equivalent to $10k USD.

A friend of mine who works placing overseas executives says that Australia is now the preferred destination for many Europeans (Irish and Spanish in particular), because a reasonable wage here (say $100k) is much more than they can earn in their home countries.

Yes, housing is fairly expensive regardless and so are some other things here and there. But if you want cheap housing, prices are down 30%+ in Spain and there is 25% unemployment, so you can probably drive a good bargain.

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7
Rollersk8r 9:55 am
13 Jun 12
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johnboy said :

well a cutback would do wonders for diversifying the ACT economy, and for those not knee deep in investment property a decline in house prices would be a good thing.

So by diversifiying the economy you mean you’re hoping people leave Canberra and take their money with them?? Sure to stimulate business…

But back on topic – amazing the number of my ex-Canberra friends who saw this and did the old “Ha ha, Canberra is crap, everywhere else in the world is awesome”. Wow, the grass really is greener…

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8
PantsMan 10:11 am
13 Jun 12
#

More tax and spend initiatives are called for to give free money to people like refugees and “families” (ie people who’ve made decsions they cannot afford) at the expense of everyone else, me thinks.

F*^&k this country is crap.

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9
FioBla 10:18 am
13 Jun 12
#

First comment: public service. Is the public service associated with a high cost of living? Because comments like this one seem to suggest so:

http://the-riotact.com/the-ever-expanding-act-ps/69976/quote-comment-398449/#comment

PantsMan said :

lol!

Hong Kong has 166,960 public servants (Dec 2012 figures) for 7,003,700 people (2009 figures). That’s 2.3%; and they have state AND federal responsiblities too!

I suppose that’s why they are an internationally competitive economy with low taxes where everthing works.

But there’s HK and Singapore above us in the list. So is Sydney. And Melbourne, and Beijing, and Perth.

Quite sure Canberra is one of the few “Western” cities closer to the top of the list without light rail of sorts (not saying that Canberra needs it).

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10
NFI 10:35 am
13 Jun 12
#

PantsMan said :

More tax and spend initiatives are called for to give free money to people like refugees and “families” (ie people who’ve made decsions they cannot afford) at the expense of everyone else, me thinks.

F*^&k this country is crap.

Feel free to emigrate to a better country.

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11
watto23 12:05 pm
13 Jun 12
#

The problem is we voted our governments in backwards. The libs used the boom to hand back tax cuts and cash, which made us all greedy and now labor are spending money we don’t have cause we handed it all back. We should have had labor in for the boom, and we’d have infrastructure fixed and libs in for now when we need to be saving.

That said not many complained when cash was handed out in the boom. Myself included, but I realise now it was probably not the right thing to do. Kind of like winning lotto and wasting all the money.

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12
Ex Warrior 12:29 pm
13 Jun 12
#

johnboy said :

well a cutback would do wonders for diversifying the ACT economy, and for those not knee deep in investment property a decline in house prices would be a good thing.

terrific for the recent buyers!!!

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13
Ex Warrior 12:32 pm
13 Jun 12
#

watto23 said :

The problem is we voted our governments in backwards. The libs used the boom to hand back tax cuts and cash, which made us all greedy and now labor are spending money we don’t have cause we handed it all back. We should have had labor in for the boom, and we’d have infrastructure fixed and libs in for now when we need to be saving.

That said not many complained when cash was handed out in the boom. Myself included, but I realise now it was probably not the right thing to do. Kind of like winning lotto and wasting all the money.

I received my hand out from Labour but agree with point Libs could have improved infrastructure when the going was good…or not sold off assets.
Still cannot believe the mess we are in after what I consider remarkable leadership from Howard and Costello.
More to the topic can we start a ACT Gov rant page?

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14
Jim Jones 1:27 pm
13 Jun 12
#

Ex Warrior said :

watto23 said :

The problem is we voted our governments in backwards. The libs used the boom to hand back tax cuts and cash, which made us all greedy and now labor are spending money we don’t have cause we handed it all back. We should have had labor in for the boom, and we’d have infrastructure fixed and libs in for now when we need to be saving.

That said not many complained when cash was handed out in the boom. Myself included, but I realise now it was probably not the right thing to do. Kind of like winning lotto and wasting all the money.

I received my hand out from Labour but agree with point Libs could have improved infrastructure when the going was good…or not sold off assets.
Still cannot believe the mess we are in after what I consider remarkable leadership from Howard and Costello.
More to the topic can we start a ACT Gov rant page?

Um … what mess. Our economy is in completely awesome shape – we got through the GFC with aplomb and are the envy of damn near every single OECD country.

The Libs under Howard and Costello were insanely profligate with the initial proceeds of the mining boom, using most of it to fund electoral bribes, which created a ravening appetite for middle-class welfare that the current government is continuing to feed.

To be fair, there’s no reason to believe that Labor wouldn’t have done exactly the same thing.

This is what happens when political imperatives are placed above sound economic management.

The differences in economic policy between the two major parties are rhetorical rather than practical (i.e. they like to pretend that they differ, they don’t).

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15
dtc 2:19 pm
13 Jun 12
#

Ex Warrior said :

I received my hand out from Labour but agree with point Libs could have improved infrastructure when the going was good…or not sold off assets.
Still cannot believe the mess we are in after what I consider remarkable leadership from Howard and Costello.
More to the topic can we start a ACT Gov rant page?

A lot of treasury people will tell you that if the Libs hadnt pushed through their tax cuts or increased middle class welfare, the govt would have saved so much money that it could conservatively invest that money and the income alone would be sufficient to replace the GST.

Or significantly lower tax rates.

In any event, had the Libs been tough for about 10 years, it could have resulted in Australia having a firm financial foundation for pretty much perpetuity. There was that much money sloshing around.

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