Rising costs hit poor hardest

Rising living costs are hitting the poor the hardest, while pensioners are wearing the brunt of growing rates and insurance prices, Statistics Zealand says.

In the year to September, the living costs for low-income homes grew by 2.6%, compared to 1.1% for high-spending households, according to Stats NZ data released yesterday.

Consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh said the contrast reflected rising costs for essentials, such as food and petrol, but cheaper luxury goods.

Poorer homes were being particularly hit hard by increasing rents, insurance, cigarettes and tobacco.

Meanwhile, Stats NZ said pensioners were seeing the highest rise in costs of all households in the September quarter, driven by growing local government rates, and insurance costs.

Stats NZ said local rates had gone up 3.4% in the three months to September.

Rates now make up about 7% of total living costs for superannuitants, compared to about 3% in wealthy homes.

 

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