Yesterday, along with thousands of other Australians, I began the Live Below the Line challenge. The idea is to live on just $10 worth of food from Monday to Friday.
Why? To stand in solidarity with the 1.3 billion people who live in extreme poverty, which is calculated by the World Bank as living on what you can buy for two Australian dollars per day. Considering the average Australian household’s weekly spend for food is around $200, and a skim latte can set you back $3.50, you can see living on $10 for the week is quite an undertaking.
So, what did I do with my $10? Yesterday, I took myself off to the supermarket and bought the following:
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As with all governments there is the irresistible urge to pass the buck as a way of trying to deflect voters from the government’s inaction on a particular issue.
Sadly when it comes to buck passing the Federal Government has been in top form during 2009.
We saw the buck passing on the GROCERYchoice debacle in June when the Federal Government pulled the plug on the consumer group Choice before Choice could launch a new revamped website to bring about much needed real transparency on grocery prices.
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One of the Rudd government’s appealing election commitments two years ago was to act on supermarket prices.
Once in power they asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to examine competition in the supermarket sector and promised to establish a web site to provide price information to consumers so they could better choose where to shop.
As then Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen said in the first few months of office: “One of the things we’re trying to do, is give consumers much more information, and when you’ve got more information you’re back in charge. When you’re driving around trying to work out where the cheapest supermarket is, then really, you’re not in charge.”
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