Limitoo News

No improvements in cost of living survey since March

Queues at Mt Wellington supermarkets after it was announced the country is moving into alert level 3 and then 4 in the next few days.
The Research New Zealand survey found 26 percent said they had gone without basics such as food and groceries in the past three months due to the cost of living crisis. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

About one in three New Zealanders are going without medical care when they're unwell, according to a cost of living survey.

GDP data suggested there was a recession earlier this year and inflation had peaked, but food prices increased and interest rates on mortgage payments continue to bite.

In March, Research New Zealand found 32 percent of its survey's respondents said they were going without medical care when they felt unwell in the previous three months due to cost concerns, and that trend continued this month with 33 percent saying the same.

Research NZ managing partner Emanuel Kalafatelis said that result was concerning considering it was winter.

Results of the poll of 1000 people aged 18 and over in July:

Kalafatelis said the results were correlated with age, with respondents aged 18-34 more frequently reporting being affected by the cost-of-living in all cost-of-living areas.

"The other group that is obviously feeling under great pain, relatively speaking, are those on lower personal incomes," Kalafatelis told Sunday Morning.

The survey also asked in the context of the cost of living crisis which industries should be investigated and reviewed first based on the profits they have been making.

"It's important to point out that one-third of all our respondents, so that's one in every three, said that actually all these industry sectors need to be investigated," Kalafatelis said.

"The sector that was identified most frequently, if you like, as needing to be investigated first, both in March and in July, is the supermarket sector. So 28 percent identified that as the sector that should be investigated first in March, that figure hasn't gone down at all. It's 29 percent this month," he said.

"It's younger respondents who are more inclined to identify the supermarket industry first ... they are twice as likely as our respondents who are 55 years of age or over to identify the supermarket sector as the sector that should be investigated first."

The 5 percent increase in people struggling to pay for rent or mortgage was "a significant result", he said.

"Although the OCR was not increased this Wednesday, it is clear that private individuals and particularly those with mortgages or paying rent, are not going to see or experience a sharp improvement in their standard of living.

"Further pain will probably be felt by those who are about to renew the low interest rate mortgages they took out two years ago."

The survey's maximum margin of error is +/- 3.2 percent (at the 95 percent confidence level).