It’s been a good news week for the economy – and seven days of contradictions for those of us trying to make ends meet.
First came a new minimum wage, set to rise by $22.20 a week starting in July.
The Fair Work Commission ruled the country’s lowest paid should have their wages increased 3.3 per cent to $18.29 an hour.
The new minimum weekly wage is $694.90. And the news was greeted with an enormous display of hand ringing by business leaders, who immediately suggested they couldn’t afford it and that the real price would be paid in lost jobs.
Then came news that the national economy was celebrating Australia’s amazing record of the longest run of uninterrupted growth in the developed world.
Now admittedly, gross domestic product grew only 0.3 per cent to March – the slowest number since 2009.
But it did represent 103 continuous quarters of growth. And that’s still a world record.
The problem – and it took the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris to point it out succinctly – is that while business profits rose a whopping 22 per cent, wages grew only 1.7 per cent.
Meaning all that money was pocketed by shareholders, boards and executives.
Small wonder, as we have been forced to point out several times recently, business growth has slowed – no-one has spare cash to buy anything.
SocietyOne calls itself a “market place lender”. So not to be confused with those terrible rodents who tell us to “nimble it and move on” perhaps?
They’ve just done a survey that says we’ve got almost 398.3 million unfinished tasks on our to-do lists – apparently an average of 21 for each of us (I know – seems like too few, right?)
The commonest: painting rooms, gardening, replacing air conditioning, planning a holiday or…for some reason…a wedding proposal.
The main excuse for putting these things off, says SocietyOne, is because we don’t have the money to complete them. More than 60 per cent told researchers that.
Apparently, once we stop procrastinating, we pay using our savings (79%), credit cards (25%) and taking out a loan (11%).
SocietyOne has a spokesperson, who is also a psychologist (impressive!). Jocelyn Brewer says we feel “overwhelmed, don’t know where to start or aren’t well resourced”, and that’s why we put things off.
“Procrastination involves active avoidance of a task which gets in the way of our pursuit of goals and makes us feel worse in the process by creating more stress, anxiety and depression.”
So a SocietyOne loan will relieve stress, make you less anxious and depressed as well as getting the house painted.
But what about the cost? A quick look at comparison site Mozo shows they offer an interest rate of 7.88% and a comparison rate of 9.90%, with fees of $300.
Where does that put them? Fair value – though the fees are high, and the rate is not spectacular.
Their website testimonials make interesting reading. M of NSW borrowed $10,000 for a fence to keep the dogs in the back yard, while A of WA said: “I really just need a holiday…” and borrowed $5,000.
Amen to that.
In another survey about trustworthiness and honesty in professions, Roy Morgan found that car salesmen scored lowest (4), followed by advertising execs (5), real estate agents (7), insurance brokers (10), stockbrokers (11), talkback radio announcers (14) state and federal MPs (16).
Source: These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of May 22-24, 2017, with 648 Australian men and women aged 14 and over.
Financial planners scored 25 – 5 above this humble scribe (journalists scored 20).
For reference, our most trusted profession was nurses, who scored a huge 94.