Thursday, September 22, 2011

Australians (generally speaking) are not poor

Recently the ABS released the results of a survey on Australian Household Expenditure on Goods and Services for the 12 months prior to June 2010(Click here for the link to the ABS survey.) Here are some of the stats from the survey.

This means that the annual expenditure of an average Australian household is over $64,000, and that of a household with children is over $106,000.

Let me put this in perspective. For our family, our net income (after tax) is less than the average household expenditure ($1,236), and hence is much less than the average family expenditure ($2,046). How do we survive? By having a weekly expenditure that is closer to that of a household which relies on government pensions and allowances ($613).

(Both my wife and I work in Christian organisations. That explains our salary rates.)

As Christians, we have financial commitment to our church, mission, and overseas relief and development organisations. We also provide financial support for a parent overseas. But overall we are surviving (well, not very easily, and with a level of stress).

And, amazingly, our life is still much better off than the majority of people in the world, where 22,000 children in low-income countries die before the age of five because of preventable diseases.

Australians, in general, are not poor. Of course, there are those at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale who suffer - and we need to stand in solidarity with them. But for the rest of us, let us be loving and generous to those who are less fortunate than we.

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