The Guardian 30 January, 2008
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that bank charges and insurance premiums went up by an overall 4.9 percent in 2007, substantially more than the average inflation rate.
In NSW the number of home-owners facing repossession of their home by banks or other lending institutions has risen by 70 percent in the past two years according the state Sheriff’s Office. If the Reserve Bank or the commercial banks themselves again raise interest rates that number could further escalate.
Commenting on the increase in petrol prices, the president of the NRMA Alan Evans says that "Oil companies were profiteering from the increase at the expense of drivers".
Meanwhile consumer price index figures released last week showed that automotive fuel was the single largest contributor to rising inflation in the December quarter. It was not workers wages that pushed up the price of petrol but the greedy oil companies. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan should note this reality before blaming workers and trade unions for inflation.
Here are the ABS figures:
Automotive fuel (+7.3%); deposit and loan facilities (+2.7%); house purchase (+1.3%); rents (+1.6%); domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+3.7%); other financial services (+1.9%).
Price falls for the December quarter were for fruit (-13.5%); vegetables (-6.9%); pharmaceuticals (-5.4%) and audio, visual and computing equipment (-4.3%) according to ABS figures.