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Cost of living bites: Aussie workers living off $17 a week

Cost of living: A mother and child look out a window.
The rising cost of living is set to hit some Aussies more than others. (Source: Getty)

The cost of living is taking its toll on millions of Australians, with prices rising for everything from petrol to groceries.

But for some, the impact is even greater, with new research from the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) showing aged care workers are really feeling the bite.

The analysis found that, after expenses, a single aged care worker was living off $112 a week, while an aged care worker in a two-parent household with two kinds had just $17 a week.


Shockingly, an aged-care worker in a single-parent household cannot afford basic essentials, with weekly costs exceeding income by $148 a week.

The aged care workforce has been on the frontline of the pandemic response in Australia.

Several waves of outbreaks and the delayed roll-out of vaccines placed severe strain on the sector.

The AACC said the pandemic worsened the workforce crisis in aged care and the skills shortage in the local market meant a support worker could earn more in hospitality or retail.

“Older Australians cannot get the best available support and care without respect and support for aged care workers,” the AACC said.

“Aged care workers deserve better pay to keep up with cost-of-living pressures, and career certainty.

“The royal commission recognised this when it called for higher wages, better qualifications, and more time for workers to spend with older people.”

Cost-of-living pressures

The Morrison Government is reportedly going to provide a cash boost in the Budget to help ease inflation pressures.

The payments are expected to be between $200 and $400, to be given to Aussie workers as the cost of living bites and wages remain stagnant.

Concerns over petrol prices have been top of mind for many Aussies with fuel prices hitting a record high.

Prices could edge towards $2.70 a litre, based on JP Morgan’s latest prediction of oil prices rising to US$185 a barrel by the end of the year, according to at least one expert.

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