Yesterday Clive and I went to Warringah Mall, the main shopping complex for Sydney’s northern beaches. We had mundane errands to do — hair cut, post office, ATM – and thought we’d also check out prices on an electronics item.
The mall was a mob scene. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. It seemed everyone but us was not only browsing, but also buying. Looking at the check-out lines, you’d never know we’re in the midst of a global recession.
The Australian Stimulus Payment
Similar to the U.S. $600 stimulus payment distributed earlier this year, the Australian government gave a pre-Christmas payment to pensioners (low-income seniors) and families with children.
Single pensioners received AUD$1400, couples $2100, and families with children $1000 per child. There was debate regarding these criteria, which weren’t based on income and excluded singles, couples without children, and couples like us, whose children are over 21. But the government maintained this was the best way to encourage holiday spending.
Clive’s daughter, a hardworking single, said she would have been happy to spend as well. We felt she was just as deserving as her friends and relatives who have children, but she didn’t get the payment.
There was gridlock in the parking lot when we left, and security guards were turning cars away.
Clive’s been saying for weeks that Aussies would spend their way through the holidays, then stop when reality and credit card bills hit in the new year.
After what we saw yesterday, I’m sure he’s right.
Filed under: Sydney |