Source: The Mercury, 25 September, 1996, p.2
By KIM SWEETMAN in Canberra
THE rich are spending their money on cake and fish while the rest of the country eats bread and sausages, a new study has found. The National Centre for Economic and Social Modelling says its study confirms many stereotypes about the way the rich and the poor live. The most affluent 10% of Australians eat differently, holiday differently and dress differently. They enjoy different sports and are more like]y to be found on the golf course than at the ten-pin bowling alley. That most affluent group can be found living in households with annual incomes of more than $102,000 and often have no children. The rich spend almost twice as much a week as everyone else. Like everyone else transport is their single biggest cost, accounting for more than $170 a week, while average Australians spend about $107 on transport each week. And like everyone else food is the second biggest regular cost faced by the rich. But while most households spend about $130 a week on food, the top 10% spend about $171. And they also spend it differently. They are more likely to eat seafood beef, ham and poultry than the average person who are more likely to be buying canned foods and sausages. The average Australian household also spends more on dairy products. However, the rich buy more cheese. While the affluent consume slightly more chocolate and ice cream, tea and coffee and prepared meals, they spend less on potato chips, cordials and soft drinks. The wealthy are also more likely to eat cakes, while bread, breakfast cereals and biscuits are more common in average shopping trolleys. The biggest difference in eating habits between the two groups is that the rich eat more meals in restaurants and as takeaway. They also enjoy wine and shun cigarettes, while the average Australian prefers beer and is more likely to smoke. Households in the top 10% spend $45.80 a week dining out and another $20.50 on fast food, accounting for just over 6% of their total expenditure, and two thirds of their total food costs. In contrast, the average household spends only $18.80 dining out and $14.10 on takeaways 4.8% of their expenditure. A significant difference also emerges in how the top 10% entertain themselves. They spend about $170 a week on entertainment and recreation - 90% more than the $89 a week spent by average households. That $170 a week is broken down into $26 on personal computers and software, $15 a week on books and photographic equipment, $3 gambling and about $30 on sports clubs. They also spend about $60 a week on holidays choosing to stay in hotels and motels, preferring to fly and often travelling outside Australia. Average Australians are more likely to take driving holidays. They also tend to camp or stay in caravan parks and holiday overseas far less often. They stay in motels only occasionally and in hotels even less often.
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