Weekly Digest – 8 March 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Inflation is still a concern as the economy slowly recovers

Australia’s economy has recovered better than most from the COVID pandemic and is now 7% larger than before. But experts say that ongoing inflation is a continuing concern for everyday affordability.

Mental health is a major concern as the cost of living remains high

New quarterly figures from Suicide Prevention Australia show that 46% of Australians have reported an elevated distress level from cost of living pressures – a 5% rise on the December quarter.

Centrelink payments set to rise to help with the cost of living crisis

Beginning March 20, more than 4.7 million Australians will receive a cash boost to their social security payments to help them cope with the soaring cost of living.

Demand for EVs is stronger than ever

New data from FCAI shows that Australian EV demand soared in February 2023 as fully battery electric vehicles made up 6.8% of the overall new car market. The total number of EVs on Australian roads is approaching 80,000 and climbing higher.

Australian companies still shedding jobs as recession looms

Two Australian companies have laid off hundreds of staff members due to tough market conditions. Healius, a healthcare company, has cut 500 full-time roles since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and Thoughtworks, a software firm, has laid off 100 employees.

Queensland is considering legislation to keep solar panels out of landfills

Queensland is the biggest contributor of solar waste, and the potential products set to end up in the landfill is enormous – but the opportunity for recycling or repairing those panels is also massive. New legislation is hoping to prevent those panels from going to waste.

Affordable rent is becoming rarer and rarer

The number of properties listed for rent for less than $400 per week has almost halved over the last year, with Hobart and Darwin the exceptions.

New super tax rules only affect the wealthiest Australians

National Party leader David Littleproud says that raising the tax rate on superannuation balances above $3 million will affect “many mum and dad businesses, ” hoping to sell up for retirement. However, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers reiterated, “99.5% of Australians with super accounts will continue to receive the same rate.”

Toblerone is no longer Swiss enough to have the Matterhorn on its packaging

Mondelez, the US parent company of Toblerone, is moving some of its production to Slovakia. Because Switzerland has laws regulating the use of national symbols, the change could see the Matterhorn disappear from the packaging because it will no longer meet the country’s standard of ‘Swissness.’

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