A good personal budget story

The Herald has a story about a solo mother struggling to pay the bills on her budget. Unlike many stories which fail to mention current government support, this one details all the income from the government, and her full outgoings.  It should be a template for media in terms of how to report these stories.

It shows how the weekly net income from wages of $341.27 a week is topped up by taxpayers with an additional $627.53 a week. This leads to a net annual income of around $50,500 a year which in gross terms is equivalent to $62,000 a year.

The family doesn’t appear to be getting an in work tax credit or family tax credit, for which they might be eligible. That would be worth an extra $220 a week.

The story shows how tight things are for this family, and I have no doubt it is tight on a single income. Reasonable people can disagree on whether taxpayers should contribute more or whether $62,000 a year should be enough.  But unlike many stories, this one gives what looks like the full picture.

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