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Cost of Living

WACOSS has produced an annual Cost of Living Report since 2007. The first reports simply investigated the changes in basic living expenses such as housing, transport fuel, food and other essentials in WA over the preceding year. In 2009 we developed a model comparing the adequacy of income against the costs of living for a typical low-income family in Western Australia, which was subsequently picked up by other States. In 2012 we revised and expanded our Cost of Living Report, to include three model representing different at-risk household types on low incomes.

The report models the income and expenditure of three household types during the financial year in comparison to the two preceding financial years. Doing so allows us to analyse relative changes in living costs and understand their likely impacts on current and future levels of deprivation and need. While more detail of the assumptions behind our three household models and economic analysis that supports them is provided in the end notes of each year's report, the best place to look for a detailed description of the methodology is in the 2012 report.

Every household and family in WA is different, and so it would be unrealistic to expect these models to be a precise reflection of all living costs or household expenditures. However, with the conservative assumptions underpinning each model household clearly considered and referenced, the Council is confident that the calculations undertaken and conclusions drawn reflect the real-life experiences of low-income households in WA.

WACOSS in the past produced a Cost of Essential Services paper, which tracked increases in the cost of utilities (water, gas and electricity). These old reports are listed below. In 2010 the Cost of Essential Services paper was amalgamated into The Cost of Living Report.


Cost of Living Publications

  1. 20161017 WACOSS Media Release - Cost of Living
    .pdf file (278.40 KB)
    October 17, 2016
    Download
  2. Factsheet 2016 Cost of Living
    .pdf file (394.65 KB)
    October 17, 2016
    Download
  3. WACOSS Cost of Living Slides 2016
    .pdf file (888.60 KB)
    October 17, 2016
    Download
  4. BCEC Cost of Living Slides 2016
    .pdf file (900.63 KB)
    October 17, 2016
    Download
  5. WACOSS Cost of Living Report 2016
    .pdf file (1.05 MB)
    2016_10
    October 17, 2016
    Download
  6. WACOSS Cost of Living Report 2015
    .pdf file (783.49 KB)
    2015_11
    December 03, 2015
    Download
  7. WACOSS Cost of Living Report 2014
    .pdf file (882.78 KB)
    2014_08
    September 12, 2014
    Download
  8. WACOSS Cost of Living Report 2013
    .pdf file (784.16 KB)
    2013_09
    September 05, 2013
    Download
  9. WACOSS Cost of Living Report 2012
    .pdf file (1.30 MB)
    2012_10
    October 12, 2012
    Download
  10. WACOSS Cost of Living Report 2011
    .pdf file (734.90 KB)
    2011_12
    December 22, 2011
    Download
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Cost of Essential Services Publications

  1. WACOSS Information Sheet: Utility Price Rises 2006-2011
    file (434.10 KB)
  2. The Rising Cost of Essential Services Briefing Paper, June 2009
    file (142.88 KB)
  3. The Rising Cost of Essential Services Briefing Paper, June 2008
    file (109.14 KB)