The Annual Wage Review 2019–20 decision referred to budget standards as one consideration when assessing the needs of the low paid, including a 2017 report by the Social Policy Research Centre that priced budgets in 2013. It was acknowledged from the report that ‘beyond the seven-year time horizon, it is preferable to review and revise the entire budgets to ensure that items, quantities and lifetimes as well as prices are reviewed and adjusted to reflect changes in community norms and average living standards’.

In recent annual wage reviews, the budget standards from the 2017 report have been updated based on the Consumer Price Index. The research reviews and revises the budget items in the 2017 report and expands on the previous report by including feedback from a broader section of the community (both low-paid and middle-income households). A supplementary budget of discretionary items which might be considered expenditures required to participate in Australian society is also included.

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area

Measures of Social Inequality and Wellbeing

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