‘Put the pension up, PM’


Rosina enjoys cooking, but rising food costs have impacted her ability to cook the meals she loves. Photo: Chantelle Scerri

Sixty-four-year-old Victorian woman Rosina Muratore is struggling. She has been directly impacted by the sudden high costs of food items in major supermarkets. 

With the cost of everyday essentials such as groceries and heating rising over the past year, many ordinary Australians are finding it hard to budget. Food inflation, in particular, has been a burden for households, and older residents like Rosina have been feeling it most keenly. 

Rosina has had to cut back on numerous groceries that she would otherwise tick off on her weekly shopping list. Basic food necessities needed for optimal health have become far too expensive for her to purchase anymore. 

“Fresh vegetables are too expensive to buy, so now I have to buy frozen because they are cheaper,” she says. 

“Meat is also too expensive to buy.” 

There is a valid reason why Rosina and many others are avoiding purchasing fresh vegetables and meat. In the past month or so, certain staple food items, such as fruit and vegetables have soared in price – up 5 per cent, according to consumer group One Big Switch. Basic meat products, such as beef mince, have also risen by 14 per cent.  

Rosina lives by herself and doesn’t have to provide for any other people in her household. However, this doesn’t make the cost of living any less difficult to manage.

As a pensioner, Rosina receives a fortnightly payment from the government. However, food inflation is putting a strain on her grocery bill, and she is finding she needs to be more discerning when grocery shopping. 

She says that by the time she has bought her weekly groceries “there is not much money left for the next two weeks”.  

She does the weekly rounds at all three major supermarket chains – Coles, Woolworths and Aldi – in the hope of finding cheaper deals. However, she says there isn’t much difference between the three supermarkets.  

“Normally, I go to Aldi, Safeway and I go to Coles to see if there is anything a bit cheaper, but the prices are all the same. Even Aldi is not that much cheaper anymore,” Rosina says. “I buy what I can buy.” 

Rosina hopes that Prime Minister Scott Morrison does more to help senior Australians struggling with food inflation. 

“He can put the pension a bit higher, so pensioners can live more comfortably,” she says. 




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