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Report: Electricity prices risen 253 per cent since 1984

According to a new report, Australians now enjoy a larger disposable income which is outpacing the cost of living.

However, many consumers will be aware that cost-of-living pressures are still a real concern for most households - especially with the price rises and government taxes related to power generation that are expected to commence later this year.

The AMP NATSEM Income And Wealth Report shows that while the average income growth since 1984 for households in all socio-economic groups was enough to cover the cost of living during that period, the growth in utility expenses has been significant.

According to the study, electricity prices have risen by 253 per cent since 1984.

Rent prices were also a large growth area, with an increase of 223 per cent recorded.

Principal research fellow Ben Phillips, lead author of the report, said: "While there is little doubt that many families still struggle to make ends meet, this report shows that on average, Australian households, both high and low income, are financially better off than in previous decades."

Perhaps with a wider number of choices for power supply, those householders who feel that they are not getting the best deal are better equipped to compare electricity suppliers and switch - something that may not have been an option a few decades ago - limiting the effect of the significant price increases found in the report.

Posted by Charlie Moore