Australians growing frustrated the rising cost of living have lashed out over losing a much needed $1,500 tax break – with some saying it’s time to ‘start protesting’.
Pharmacy worker Loz called out the federal government for going ahead with axing the popular $1,500 low and middle income tax offset (LMITO), which workers will no longer receive at tax time.
It comes as the Albanese government confirmed in April that it was dumping the LMITO which gave tax relief to workers earning less than $126,000 amid rising rents, bills and interest rates.
Loz took to TikTok in shock and on the brink of tears after the announcement earlier this year, saying she and other low and middle income earners are fed up.
‘To many that’s not much but to me and so many other people that is two weeks wages,’ she said.
TikTokker lozrob96 (pictured) called out the federal government for ripping away the popular $1,500 low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) many Aussies get at tax time
‘We are in a cost of living crisis and they announce this … to put it simply I’m tired, we as a nation are tired.
‘I never thought that we would be in a position where so many of us will have to put our mental health second to working, burnout and running ourselves into the ground.’
Another disgruntled worker, Chris, slammed big companies – including Optus and RACQ – for charging him more.
‘I’m sorry it’s going up $4, how exactly are you impacted by the cost of living,’ he asked in a scathing post to the telco.
‘Because we are as sure as s*** know that your staff are not getting a wage raise to be in line with inflation.’
He also took aim at insurer RACQ for sending him a ‘nice, shiny, glossy’ letter telling him he would be paying $30 to $40 more a month.
‘”Oh sorry Chris we’ve had a really rough year, there’s been a lot more claims blah blah blah”‘, he claimed the letter read.
‘”We are acutely aware of the rising cost of living and we don’t take it lightly” – you couldn’t give a f*** to be honest, its just lip service … [and] stupid-looking words of contrition’.
‘At this moment, what’s the point of working, all your money goes to some other scumbag’.
He also took aim at insurer RACQ for sending him a ‘nice, shiny, glossy’ letter telling him he would be paying $30 to $40 more a month
Another disgruntled TikTok user, Chris, also lambasted Optus after it slapped a $4 rise to his phone bill
‘I’m sorry my phone bill is going up by $4, how exactly are you impacted by the cost of living,’ he asked Optus in an online rant
Other frustrated Australians took to the emotionally charged videos pointing the finger at companies making record profits and calling for protests.
‘We really need to start protesting!’ one said.
‘They’re quite happy to watch us struggle to survive just to maintain their profits,’ another one wrote.
‘My internet went up by $5 per month. No extras. Just upped the price,’ a third said.
Another said: ‘Every day I drive to work thinking “what is the point of this” literally burning yourself out to barely survive. Something needs to change.’
‘I’m being serious here… WHEN ARE WE PROTESTING!’ said another.
Sacrifices Australians are making
Meanwhile, Australians have opened up about sacrifices they’re making to cope with the cost of living crisis – cancelling travel plans, scrapping beauty routines, and ditching Coles and Woolworths for Aldi.
Families are spending an average $1924 more on groceries this year, while the median weekly rent for a unit has soared by $120 in Sydney and $90 in Melbourne.
The cost of living surge comes after the Reserve Bank hiked up interest rates 12 times in barely a year, which has put buying a house out of reach for many average wage-earners in the big cities.
Some workers spoke to Daily Mail Australia in Parramatta, western Sydney, revealed they have now axed little luxuries like getting their eyelashes done or eating meat.
Others had no sympathy for those who say they’re struggling to make ends meet, branding them ‘whingers’ who need to toughen up.
But the dire financial times have also brought out the best in some people.
One couple revealed they shelved rent rises at their investment property because the thought of forcing their tenants to pay more at a time like this sickened them.
Eliza says that she’s had to travel from her home in Paddington to an Aldi in Edgecliff for the best deals as she tries to keep her shopping below $40 a week
‘I’m cutting back on shopping and going to Aldi’
Travelling between suburbs has become a routine part of life for many people who are just trying to find the best deals.
Eliza, a sales person from Sydney’s east, says that she’s had to travel from her home in Paddington to an Aldi in Edgecliff for the best deals as she tries to keep her shopping below $40 a week.
‘I’m massively cutting back on my shopping, I’m trying to keep my limit to $40 per week but I don’t – it usually ends up around $50 or $60,’ she said.
‘I drive to Aldi in Edgecliff because the IGA is so expensive.’
She’s also cutting back her subscriptions and selling her car to try to get on top of her finances.
‘I used to go to two gyms, but now I only go to one gym because it’s too expensive,’ she continued.
‘I’m fine with selling my car because I have a work car, but I’m feeling incredibly financially insecure for the first time in my life.
‘I’m only 24 now, I thought it would get better but it’s gotten worse.
‘Rent has also just gone up, it’s around 35 per cent of my pay. Luckily it was just bumped by $30 a week for all four of us – I live in a sharehouse.
‘I can’t wait until this all ends, it just feels like everything keeps going up in price, but I’m not optimistic that it will improve in the near future.
‘I think it will get worse before it gets better.’
‘I can barely afford meat’
Local councillor Beverley Maxwell was shopping in Aldi looking for bargains but said they are becoming harder and harder to find.
‘My grocery bill is going up $10 every week,’ she said.
‘500 grams of meat is $10.50. That has just been going up and up and up. We used to be able to get that for $4 or $5 only a couple of months back.
‘I swear Woolworths is cheaper than Aldi now.
‘Yesterday I shopped in here last week and mainly bought those little packets of pasta where you add a bit of milk and water.
‘Even my niece who has a business, she says, “I’m, doing the same thing, Aunty Bev”.
‘Everybody’s struggling, and lots probably just put it on the credit card.
‘All the countries around the world, including us, are on the knife’s edge.’
Local councillor Beverley Maxwell was shopping in Aldi looking for bargains but said they are becoming harder and harder to find
‘I have to work three jobs’
Rebecca is a full-time student.
She lives at home with her parents but found herself needing to work three jobs to afford groceries.
‘I work three jobs, that’s how I keep going, and I study full-time,’ she said.
‘I study cosmetic nursing, so Botox and filling.
‘It’s fun but hard work and I have three jobs on the side because I’d be broke otherwise.’
‘I don’t get my lashes done and I can’t go to Europe’
Even though she’s a beautician, Miah, 21, has also had to give up getting her lashes done as the cost of living crisis bites in.
‘I don’t get my lashes done anymore,’ she admitted. ‘I used to but now that’s changed.
‘Thinking of saving at the moment is almost impossible, it’s a joke.
‘I wouldn’t go into the rental market, renting is a joke. It takes all your money and just puts it into a hole with no value.
‘My sister just got married and she’s moved to Newcastle to try it out. She’s renting there for a bit to see what it’s like because living here is hard.’
Beautician Miah, 21, is experiencing financial insecurity as well, needing to give up getting her lashes done even though she’s a beautician by trade
Now as her family prepares to take their first post-pandemic holiday, Miah has found herself having to choose between savings and luxuries.
‘In August my family is going to Europe and doing a lot of Italy, they’re just going to rent a car and drive around,’ she added.
‘I wish I could go, but somebody’s got to look after the animals.
‘And that’s another thing, we would usually just send them off to someone who would look after them, but that’s also just so expensive. I feel bad, and I feel guilty, so I’ll just take care of them.
‘When I was growing up that was never even spoken about. We used to go out and get the finest everything, but now it’s definitely different.
‘As far as my job goes, I would say we have lost clientele because people are just not spending the money that they used to spend on beauty services and hair services and stuff like that.
‘Parking here has also made me catch public transport every day, I can’t afford $30 daily parking while I’m at work. I meal prep every week, and I never thought I’d do that in my life, but I have to. And it’s not exciting, it’s the same salad, chicken and rice everyday.
‘I used to go out every week and drink, but now I’m completely sober. That’s because of a combination of health and money reasons, but money was part of the decision. I never go out for lunch.
‘We have an investment property and won’t raise the rates on our tenants’
Pete and Alana, the owners of Paramatta’s oldest restaurant Kouzina Greco, can’t bring themselves to take advantage of the rental market like so many other landlords.
‘We have an investment property that gets rented, where we weren’t out of pocket except for the council rates,’ Alana said.
‘But now we’re putting in roughly $1,500 from our own pocket every month. We don’t have a mortgage, but it’s almost like a mortgage.
‘I can’t raise the rates for our tenants, I can’t do it. I’ll leave it for as long as I can, because I feel sick to do that to them.
‘For me now to put rent up $20 or $30 for each tenant – alright, so I’m going to make $1,000 or more profit each year, but you know what?
‘I’d rather stick it out than make these families uncomfortable.’
Pete and Alana, the owners of Paramatta’s oldest restaurant Kouzina Greco, can’t bring themselves to take advantage of the rental market like so many other landlords
The couple were operating their business through the 2008 global financial crisis, and they say that the conditions today are beginning to look eerily similar.
‘We’ve been there before – in 2008 we almost had to close down the restaurant,’ she said.
‘We were mortgaged to the hilt, I had to go back and work with my dad, pick up a second job.
‘You just do it, so whoever is whinging now, they’ll be fine, you just need to cut out a few little things.
‘The people who just bought a house, they’re gonna sell it and they’re gonna end up with a $100,000 or $200,000 debt, then they’re going to rent and save again and in 10 years time they’re ready to start again.
‘I’m a shop owner – everyone’s just having a whinge’
A Granville pawn shop owner, who wished to remain anonymous insisted, times have been worse in the past, and everyone was overstating the current economic woes.
‘It’s just more whinging,’ he said.
‘People are whining because everything’s going up, but they just gotta tighten their belts.
‘I’m in the same boat, just cut back on your costs.
‘Cut back on your going outs. Instead of going out twice a week, I go out once a week.
‘If you think about it 20 years ago, how did people survive? When the interest rate wasn’t at 1 per cent; it was about 13 per cent 20 or 30 years ago.
‘How did they live back then, you know what I mean?’
He added: ‘It’s not too bad around here, people in the city just love to talk about it. It’s because their travel has gone up, but just live with it, man.
‘I see the same heads at the pub every single day, and what are they doing there? They’re having a beer. They’re still paying $10 a beer and they’re on the pension.’
A Granville pawn shop owner thought that everyone was making a big deal of the economic situation – when times have been worse
‘I’m preparing for the worst and not travelling’
Sam, a lawyer who has had to cut back on travel, is bracing for the worst and likened the current cost of living crisis to being on the edge of a cliff.
‘There is no better at this point,’ he said.
‘The better period has finished, so unfortunately the better period has finished and it’s unfortunate but we have to jump off the cliff together and when we land, those who survive, we celebrate.’
Politicians are sitting on six-figure salaries and nobody is pointing to them, he added.
‘They’re not doing anything, and it’s just getting worse.’
Sam, a lawyer who has had to cut back on travel, is bracing for the worst and likened the current cost of living crisis to being on the edge of a cliff
‘I’ve had to hold back expanding my business’
Parramatta restaurant Frankie B’s just opened a new outlet last year, but plans to expand the business further have hit a wall because of rising utility bills and customers refusing to spend.
‘I look after our venue here in Parramatta and also our second venue in Eastgardens, where I go every Sunday,’ operations manager Arti said.
‘We’re opening another venue hopefully pretty soon, around Castle Hill, but I’m not sure yet.
‘We always aim to expand, so we got this idea in place that we were going to, slowly but surely.
‘The second venue opened up January last year, but the third venue has been delayed due to the rising cost of everything.
‘We just got an electricity bill that’s way up because we’ve been using air conditioning right now, but gas also went up 30 per cent.’
RACQ told Daily Mail Australia it was aware ‘times are financially challenging’ and are always looking for ways to support their customers.
‘This includes being open and transparent about the decisions we make about the price of premiums,’ a spokesperson said.
They said the ‘increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events’ and supply chain pressures were key drivers causing its premiums to go up.
The insurer also pointed towards the country’s limited investment in disaster mitigation over the years ‘which would have helped to reduce the risk and bring down the cost of providing insurance’.
RACQ have been forced to pay more for its own insurance to global reinsurance companies which is considered in insurance premiums, they said.
‘Car insurance premiums have been impacted by a range of external factors such as increased repair costs, claim costs and vehicle values.
‘These factors have significantly increased the cost of doing business and have forced us to make tough decisions when it comes to the price of premiums.’
Optus told Daily Mail Australia the telecommunications industry faces rising costs from suppliers, increased expenses and higher wages
Optus told Daily Mail Australia the telecommunications industry faces rising costs from suppliers, increased expenses and higher wages.
It said it has looked into cutting costs to keep prices competitive, including carefully evaluating pricing structure to ensure the telco can continue to deliver exceptional services.
‘For some customers, they will see a monthly increase of $4 per service,’ a spokeswoman said.
‘We’ve communicated these changes to customers affected as well as any additional data that will apply to their service.’
Optus said it has developed a range of options that will help customers save on communication, streaming products and services.
This included ways to save on mobile plans, 5G devices, overseas roaming and upfront costs.
Parramatta restaurant Frankie B’s plans to expand the business have hit a wall because of rising utility bills and customers refusing to spend