A man looks at fruit and vegetables.
The cost of living has forced 42 per cent of people in NSW to cut back on Christmas food spending. Image by Brendan Esposito/AAP PHOTOS
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Inflation to eat into Christmas lunches, presents: poll

Callum Godde December 24, 2023

Four out of ten Australians will spend less on their Christmas lunches and dinners this year because of spiralling costs, according to a new poll.

The survey of 1024 people in NSW in December found cost-of-living pressures have prompted 42 per cent of respondents to cut back on Christmas food spending.

Another 56 per cent said they would fork out less on presents.

More than half (53 per cent) of those surveyed said their financial situation was worse than a year ago, and even those with a household income above $150,000 (49 per cent) are feeling the pinch.

Some 55 per cent blamed the federal government for spiralling costs, along with the Reserve Bank of Australia (50 per cent), corporate Australia and big business (47 per cent) and the NSW government (36 per cent).

Seven out of ten said their incomes had not kept up with the cost of living, and residents who lived outside of greater Sydney (59 per cent) were more likely to say they had gone backwards financially.

Eight out of ten respondents don’t expect things to improve in the coming year and 37 per cent expect things to worsen.

An older woman shopping at a discount chemist.
 Most people in NSW are pessimistic about the new year, in the wake of rising living costs. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

The survey was carried out by Pyxis Polling & Insights, the polling firm behind The Australian’s Newspoll, and commissioned by Unions NSW.

Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey took a swipe at corporations and the central bank.

“While corporate Australia has padded its profits, 13 interest rate rises in 18 months have pushed ordinary workers back against the wall to make ends meet,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“Not even people on moderate incomes are safe from cascading price pain expected to linger well into 2024.”

In a Christmas message with his wife Anna, NSW Premier Chris Minns acknowledged many families were doing it tough this Christmas.

“But we also know that the people of this state are incredibly generous,” he said.

“So, we want to thank you for donating gifts, food and other items to people who are less fortunate.”