Prices gone up - some of us are only on a pension

Every thing has gone up in price, I am a pensioner go shopping looking at the prices now can not afford that any more too expensive to buy coffee and vegetables cauliflower 9.90 they want you to eat healthy and yet even broccoli is expensive now, and that price can not afford to have Guest coming for a meal, even washing powder and a lot off other items up in price So thank god for the reject shop we have here as we only have Coles and Woolworths here in Innisfail we have not Got IGA or food works, One lady the other day said My god look how much the coffee is, and I said I know go down to the reject shop and have a look. Some of us pensioner don’t travel to a large place like Cairns to do our shopping. So why a box off sweppes no sugar I always paid 6.20 now gone up to 10.30


I too am on Aged Care pension and we get pittance in ruses but food and utilities are killing m3


Everyone is doubtless seeing similar. Broccoli has been expensive everywhere, possibly a seasonal or supply issue. Petrol for different reasons has gone up 50%. On the way the Govt calculates the cost of living, it always seems to underestimate what most of us actually experience.

Unfortunately what is used to determine the national cost of living is not the same as where many of us need to spend our limited retirement incomes, (EG pensions or super).

Don’t lament? We have no Coles, but we do have Woolies, a smaller local IGA and a discount grocery chain and Aldi for choice. Generally FoodWorks and IGA are more expensive for everyday items than Coles and Woolies.

Per Choice there is a clear winner for price,


We too live off the pension, and yes prices are on the up and up and up. Sadly, many parliamentarians have no idea what the ‘real’ cost of living actually is and the ABS ‘cost of living’ figures do not take into account many of the significant costs that everyday people have to bear. Consequently, there is very little care factor in the Houses of Parliament. The Government is cutting back spending on Aged Care and the NDIS by stealth, and are not likely to be overly beneficent when it comes to increasing the pension.

Consequently, we have to shop smart. Find out when Coles and Woolworths have their specials, and be there if you can to buy up the mark downs. By the cheapest home brands rather than name brands. Also, check out the price of canned food vs fresh. Sometimes canned vegetables are cheaper (and sometimes more nutritious) than fresh.

Oh, and write to Bob Katter your Federal Member and complain about the cost of living. If you are not satisfied with his response, vote for someone else in the forthcoming election who will do something about it.


Bob should surely understand? :thinking:
Inflation is obvious from the ever expanding size of his western styled hat, while the overhead luggage lockers in the QantasLink Dash 8’s appear to be offering less at a higher seat price. Suspect very few pollies actually know the cost of their tickets?

While the cost of buying housing or renting in some regional areas may be less than the Capitals, everything else is likely to cost more.

The cost of living is not the same irrespective of where one lives. The ABS references costs of living to the weighted averages of the 8 Australian Capital cities. For older Australian’s many of the living needs and costs change. It would be more useful to see the ABS look at the cost’s affecting older Australians relative to needs and circumstance, IE property/rental costs, accessibility to services/retail, transport, location variances, and others.

Return Greyhound bus Innisfail to Cairns might require an overnight stay from memory. Not that Bob would need to use one. Assumes he appreciates Italian food and Art Deco.


The ABS may be taking the lead that Australia is not just Sydney, and not just eastern NSW ? Perhaps the ABS could put on a seminar for Parliament where that is part 1 and after the [guilty] MPs have time to consider that heresy and maybe even get over it, the regions and bush might be added for subsequent iterations. :rofl:


I agree, prices are through the roof. Local iga Netscafe gold went from $11.60 to $18.90 last week . And almost every grocery item has increased markedly. Along with meat and vegetables and petrol now nearly $2.00pl it is becoming very difficult to make ends meet.


Yes, I agree It is getting harder and harder.


For fruit and vegetables, have a chat to your local green grocer and see if they are willing to get in some second grade fruit and vegetables in. Wholesale prices of these are a faction of first grade ones, with the difference being they don’t look perfect (might be too small/big, different shape, uneven colour, slight blemish on skin). While they might not look perfect, the insides and taste will be the same.

A green grocer might be interested in running a second grade product line of fresh produce if there are potentially enough customers…passing the wholesale price through to the customer with reduced purchase price.

For other non-perishable items, if you can afford it, buy up when you see them on special.


I also live on a pension and although everyone seems to have gone back to what they perceived as “normal”, I have not. Thus, I still get deliveries of food and meds. I can no longer afford to buy red meat, and chicken is fast approaching that as well. Oh wait… fruit and veg… what used to cost me $25 at the local f&v shop now costs $40 or more, and no, Coles and Woolies whilst often cheaper, are usually (these days) rubbish quality. I’m going to have to go do it myself because $400 a month out of my pension is making other things more difficult, too. (I should have bought a new gas stove 2 years ago, its now $150 more)

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I’ve an impression that since the Federal Govt big pandemic cash splash into home ownership, renovation and construction many costs have gone up significantly. Supply from OS where 99% of our household goods, and many materials come from has also suffered - demand outstripping availability.

This has driven up the cost of basic household services. Is it relevant to ask how many pensioners put off replacing appliances, repairing damaged doors, windows, locks, leaking plumbing, fixing the gutters or painting? Does it serve any purpose for Choice or some other interested party to look at those costs today compared with 5 and 10 years ago?

We put off major renovations because of the rapidly increasing costs, and long lead times for trade work locally. It’s only going to be more difficult in SE Qld and parts of NSW following the latest round of flood damage. It’s also worth considering many pensioners have limited capacity to fund major repairs, replacements or improvements.

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You are right I have things to repairs here, but it is the cost off things being on the pension I just can not afford it I have just my home insured but no contents I do not understand why can’t we make a price our on contents Like 8,000 because there are a lot of good condition on second hand furniture today. I have a gate that needs to be welded, and it needs a hinge put on, so I can open it, But the price they give me and I brought the hinge as well they still want 150 to weld a Hinge on my gate. So I will leave it until someone that can do it for me for a nice meal .

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We have several local Men’s Sheds who often help out in the community, especially for older Aussies. There is one listed for your area.
View Profile - Australian Men's Shed Association

It may not be convenient, but worth asking - or perhaps the local council can point you in the best direction.

Is this a concern because of the additional cost of contents cover when added to the home policy, or the value of the items included? Is the concern contents policies only offer new for old, which may increase the cost of the policy. IE when there are some items the owner would be happy to take a low cash value for and replace second with hand?

The cost of insurance in North QLD is certainly a premium. This link may be of use in identifying insurers. Our experience from living North of the tropic was it paid to approach more than one insurer, and to not accept the first proposal as their best offer. If finding that difficult asking friends who they insured with and whether they had a better deal may help.

It’s equally important to choose an insurer who has a positive reputation for responding when needed. Something others in your circle hopefully can offer guidance on, and who to avoid. Our experiences with claims with RACQ when in Townsville were very positive, but not necessarily the lowest cost insurer.

Home and Contents Insurance for North Queensland | Canstar

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A report done by the Australian National University commissioned by St Vincent De Paul Society that recommends changes to many Welfare payments and tax reform can be found at:

331748_A_fairer_tax_and_welfare_system.pdf (

The statement from Vinnies regarding this report and the upcoming elections:

A Fairer Australia–2022 Federal Election statement - St Vincent de Paul Society - Good Works (

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I left full time work in August last year, to become a full time carer for my elderly invalid Mum, and hence am now on a Carer’s Pension. I am concerned about out of pocket expenses when your long term GP refuses to bulk bill for a visit. I have been using the same medical centre for 30+ years (doctors have come & gone), but I still have to pay $65 for the visit. The Medicare rebate is completely out of touch with modern day fees, as I believe I’m still down around $25 afterwards.


There are still many doctors which bulk bill, so there are doctors which accept the current Medicare rebate as payment for consultations. Doctors can chose to charge more than the Medicare rebate, this is a choice of the doctors in question and may occur for many reasons (such as number of patients on their books/number of consultation per day/the length of their standard consultations/what the doctor deems as fair value for the consultation etc).

If you are struggling to pay the additional charge your doctor has imposed and you live in a larger town/urban area, it may be worth exploring other GPs in your general area to see if they bulk bill and their practices meet your needs.


Many clinics are staffed by independent GPs who share and pay toward space, support staff and nurses, and equipment.

Sometimes the practice manager can approach the GPs on your behalf, or if you approach them yourself an individual GP might work with your fees, sometimes one or more GPs but not all in a practice will, and sometimes the practice would deem you ‘not good business’ unless you pay their fees and they have no problem if you find another clinic.

I left an excellent doctor 2 years ago when they charged $65 per basic consult because of a business prcatices change that irked me and saved the clinic $0~4 per annum per customer. The clinic is now up to $85 per basic consult. I now attend a convenient 100% bulk billing clinic and receive excellent care and followups, and shorter waits for an appointment - sometimes weeks shorter - than the former one.

You need to weigh up convenience, care, bedside manner of the GPs, with your ability and willingness to pay. Finding a new GP/clinic is easier in cities than the regions, another germane matter.


I found it difficult even when working full time to afford doctor’s visits. Of course then I was paying the full fee, so more out of pocket. I don’t know any GPs who have EVER charged anywhere near the scheduled fee, for the Medicare rebate to be meaningful, but that’s a whole other thread…

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Me roo. Plus I rent. Now I’ve moved, I do have more choice such as a small fruit and vegetables mart but for the rest, Coles just keeps rising

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It will be useful to revisit this topic next week after the ABS releases it’s March Quarter 2022 cost of living statistics, (due out on 27th April).

The ABS said for 2021,

The impact of price changes on household living costs can vary between household groups due to the different spending patterns of households.
“Food makes up a higher proportion of overall expenditure for Age pensioner households compared to other types of households. Age pensioner households also experienced the highest annual increase for housing costs, with relatively higher expenditure levels on maintenance and repair and property rates. Consequently, this household group had the highest annual living cost increase of 3.4 per cent,” Ms Marquardt said.

That the cost increase over the year is just 3.4% might not be the lived experience of all. Those renting might already be starting to see a rapid increase in rents, to top off other increases in fuel if you still have a motor vehicle.

P.S. credit to @syncretic for making me aware of the related ABS indices in another topic.