NZ spending falls
By Ian Powell
WELLINGTON — A report from the Statistics Department has confirmed how extensive and widespread the impact of unemployment and repressive economic policies has been in New Zealand.
The department surveyed average weekly household expenditure and income for the year to March 31, 1992, compared with the previous 12 months. The survey reports that overall average weekly household spending fell by 5%, from $610 to $578.
Expenditure during this period on meat declined by 9% while furnishings expenditure declined by a massive 28%. On the other side of the coin, rent expenditure increased 10%, medical goods 13%, health services 18% and education costs 20%.
During the same period, average household income declined overall by 1.2%, from $768 to $759.
These statistics report a sorry tale of households, with falling incomes, cutting back on basic spending to cope with the extra costs of health and education, in particular, where the impact of user charges has been most pronounced.