What Recession?

Check-out Line at JB Hi-Fi

Check-out Line at JB Hi-Fi

Sydney, Tuesday

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.

From what we’ve seen and read in the news, Europe and Australia haven’t yet hit the spending slowdown being experienced in the U.S. 

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.  

It’s Inevitable

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.

Coffee Area outside Woolworth's Supermarket

Coffee Area outside Woolworth's Supermarket

 

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2 Responses

  1. Caroline, I feel I need to comment on your article, I find I disagree with your comment regarding clives daughter,she may be deserving of some help from the government but this payment was for singles or couples that have children as well as pensioners, this was income tested as it was only recieved by those families who are on family benefits A, to recieve this benefit you have to recieve less than $90,000 a year as a combined income. I also believe that having 2 kids myself I understand how expensive it can be to raise children as im sure you understand yourself, single people or couples with kids although deserving do not have to cope with the financial burden of food, extra utilities and schooling to name a few that are required on a daily basis. I know it also depends on how well you budget and your annual salary as to how good a lifestyle you lead, but i truly believe that adults with children needed this payment more than those without.
    p.s please excuse my writing style, first time commenting.

  2. Jason, excellent comment – thanks for taking the time, and for correcting me on the couples/family $90K clip level

    I understand completely and agree regarding the enormous financial responsibility and impact when you have young children. It’s a huge, ongoing expense and I support the government’s decision to help these well-deserving parents.

    The program still excluded low and middle-income singles and couples of all ages without children. Perhaps because of my own youthful experience, I relate to single working women. Having managed hundreds of singles and members of childless couples of all ages during my business career, I relate to them as well.

    I have only admiration for all of you with young children and thank you again for your heartfelt and articulate comment.

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