Listening to Meet the Press
the other day
Terry McCarthy (St Vincent De Paul Society Social Justice Spokesman) was talking about payments people receive from the government like the dole or pension. He said that increases in payments are linked to CPI
and that CPI is an unfair measure of the cost of living. He gave the example that politicians, hypocritically, get their benefits scaled with the male average weekly earnings data
which normally increases faster than CPI. Obviously these measures are trying to determine the cost of living but they do so in completely different ways. One is via how much people spend (CPI) and the other is via how much people earn (average weekly earnings). Having a brief look it seems that in the last financial year CPI increased about 2.5% but the average weekly earnings increased by about 5.0% (about twice). So if you got a 5% pay rise last year, you got, quite literally, an average pay rise.