I recently returned to the UK to visit family and whilst there, I was taken aback by how much the cost of living there has changed since I last visited in 2008 and, whilst the exchange rate was favourable (at the time 2 AU$ to 1GBP), it seemed to me that the cost of everyday shopping was far cheaper than here (with a few exceptions such as Petrol/Diesel).
It’s been my belief that Australia’s cost of living has been steadily on the rise for several years now. It seems to me that Cyclones and Oil prices raise costs, but prices never seem to reduce again once their impact on production & distribution has subsided. Coles & Woolworths have long been in my sights as taking advantage of us, but it’s only since experiencing the reductions in the cost of living in the UK that I thought I’d run a little non-too-scientific check for myself.
Having been to do some shopping in Aldi today, I jumped online with my receipt and checked a few of the items I’d purchased against other Australian stores and two of the main UK equivilants as follows:
- Coles Supermarkets Online Shop – http://www.colesonline.com.au
- Woolworths Supermarkets Online Shop – http://www.homeshop.com.au; and
- Tesco UK Price Comparison with Asda UK Website – http://www.tesco.com/todayattesco/pricecheck.shtml
What I found is presented in the table below:
Whislt this is only a snapshot across some of the more common items I purchased today, I believe it provides a reasonable cross section of items that many Australian families would purchase. As can be seen, Aldi came out far cheaper than its Australian competitors. What is perhaps more surprising is how well the UK Supermarkets compared at today’s exchange rate. It seems my long-standing argument with my English family that Australia’s cost of living is so much better that the UK’s may be in doubt.
Funnily enough, I emailed my (then) Federal Liberal MP Michael Johnson last time I returned from the UK saying that I couldn’t understand why prices here were continuing to rise whilst those in the UK were falling dramatically. His response was along the lines of ‘what did I expect when we live in a country of such vast distances and small population’. At the time I thought he was clearly out of touch as prices here had been so much cheaper that the UK (and to his being uninterested in my whinging)…but now I really want to know why we are paying so much more than the UK? I haven’t heard any Politicians raising teh topic and suspect that they really wouldn’t want it raised either.
What do you think?
- Are prices in Australia getting ridiculously expensive?
- Surely it can’t all be because of the stronger $?
- What can our political leaders do about it…if anything?
- What can we do about it?
- Do you really care?
Looking forward to hearing your thought. In the meantime, have fun!