Hard Yakka

Current Rates

  • Aussie yakka: One hour of hard yakka buys $32.80 of stuff.
  • The UK yakka: One hour of hard yakka buys £15.06 of stuff.

For updated rates as at December 2012, see my post Hard Yakka and the Cost of Living in Australia

Allow me to explain….

Here in Australia it’s called hard yakka and back in England we used to call it hard graft. What is it? Yes, its work. That thing we have to do to earn money to pay for stuff.

For most people, the longer you work the more you earn. And that means you can buy more stuff. But how long do you need to work for to buy each individual item of stuff that you want?

Meet the yakka.


The yakka is a unit of currency (which only exists here on BobinOz) expressed in terms of (a) how long it takes to earn the money in order to (b) buy stuff. The value of a yakka can be calculated for individual countries by taking the average annual salary and dividing it by the number of hours worked.

After extensive research into current average salaries for the UK and Australia, I have decided to use the highest figures I have found for each country from reliable sources. These figures refer to full-time adult total earnings and appear to include overtime.

The figure for the UK came from the BBC website who quote their source as The Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). They say its £31,323 per annum.

For Australia I have used figures from The Australian Bureau of Statistics  (ABS) and they say the figure is $1,312 per week which comes to $68,224 per annum.

Update: When you click on the link to the ABS, you will notice that the figures are no longer there. Please click on “Key Figures” link to the left and you will see updated average weekly wages for full-time employees in public and private sector work, these are the figures I have been using.

Even though both of these annual salary figures include overtime, I have no way of verifying exactly how much for each country. So for both I have assumed 40 hours per week over 52 weeks.

Therefore the current value of an Aussie yakka is $68,224 divided by 52 and then divided by 40. So it’s $32.80.

And the current value of a UK yakka is £31,323 divided by the same as above, so £15.06.

Using yakka’s in cost comparisons.

An example:

You want to buy an Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB. Why??? That’s what I want to know! Okay, never mind that for now, let’s just assume that you do.

In Australia you could buy it (price at time of writing from Apple’s Aussie store) for $1,049. As you are earning $32.80 per hour, it would take you (ignoring silly things like taxes and other stoppages) 31.98 hours to pay for that particular stuff.

Buying the same item in England would set you back (price from Amazon.co.uk at time of writing) £714.00. We know that the average earnings there are £15.06 per hour, so it would take (ignoring those same irritating taxes and things) 47.41 hours to pay for the equivalent stuff in England.

Therefore an Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB would cost 31.98 yakka’s in Australia and 47.41 yakka’s in the UK.

That makes an Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB 48% more expensive in the UK than it is here in Australia when using yakka’s as the method of comparison.

Whereas under the old currency conversion system, and at current rates, the £714.00 Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB would cost ($1,049 divide by 1.62 AUD to the pound) £647.53 here in Australia.

That would make the U.K.’s Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB just 10.26% dearer in England than it is here in Australia. Big difference!

Why this is important.

If you live in the UK and you are coming to Australia for a holiday, you need to use the old method, the currency conversion method, to work out how expensive Australia is. If you are emigrating here and working here, earning Australian dollars, or intending to, then you probably want to use the yakka system to compare the cost of living between the two countries.

I’ve been meaning to do this post for some time, I’ve used this method of comparing cost between Australia and England in previous posts, like in my post comparing water and sewerage prices, but I’d not got round to explaining it. Until today.

I think this is a much better method of comparing the cost of living between the two countries assuming you are coming here to live and work, rather than on holiday.

But it works for any country.

  • What if your annual electricity/gas costs were $720 or £450?
  • How about if your yearly water bills were just $360 or £225?
  • Supposing your weekly rent for a small apartment was just $50 or about £31?

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?

But then how would that all that be for you if your monthly salary was just a $325 or £200?

Not so good huh!

You see, those figures above were given to me by Cristi from Romania who made a comment on my blog post about soaring electricity prices. You have to agree, Romania looks an extremely cheap place in which to live, until you find out how low the wages are.

According to my maths and Cristi’s figures, it would cost 220 Romanian yakka’s to buy 3000 kW of electricity, whereas here in Australia I can buy the same amount for just 17 Australian yakka’s. That’s because the Romanian yakka is worth just $2.00.

Now, where’s my Nobel Prize?


Here are the exact workings out:

Cristi (see Calin Cristian’s comments) tells me an average Romanian salary is €250 a month, that’s about $333. So the average Romanian works for one hour to earn about $2 AUD.

Electricity, for example, costs him (0.11 Euro) just under 15c per kilowatt hour, so 3000 kWh (his annual electricity consumption) cost him about $440 AUD. Because the Romanian hard yakka is equivalent to about $2, it takes Cristi 220 hours of work to pay for that electricity.

Here in Australia, electricity is more expensive at around 16 cents and the Australian hard yakka is worth $32.80. If I were to buy 3000 kWh of electricity over the period of a year, with standing charges it would cost me around $560.

That is 17 Hard Yakkas, or 17 hours of work for an average earning Australian.

220 hours versus 17 hours.

And Romania is cheap and Australia is expensive?

Footnote: I know some will disagree with me on average salaries between Australia and the UK, so here’s where I got it all from.


UK Salaries





Australian Salaries



Visa Assessment Service
{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Naz December 13, 2016, 5:42 pm |

    I have lodged my application in August. Medical and police certification have cleared. The department asked about my spouse’s job information after 3 months. I have submitted all information within 28 days then. Now waiting about 1 months. No response from that side. Tension is increasing day by day. how do you think? BTW, its skilled independent VISA (190)

    • BobinOz December 13, 2016, 7:54 pm |

      Well, I have no idea Naz, only immigration can tell you what they think and as frustrating as it is waiting, that’s about all you can do. Good luck though, Bob

  • Nahid November 14, 2016, 9:17 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I with my family want to move to Adelaide soon from Bangladesh. I got state nomination and going to launch Visa application soon. So can you tell me is there any chances to be refused if all of my documents are genuine? another thing how much money should we bring to settle there for our three member family (Husband, wife and 1.5year old baby). do you thing 15-20KAUD would be enough for our initial cost to start a new life? I mean until we get job?

    • BobinOz November 15, 2016, 8:09 pm |

      I’m afraid I have to leave the chances of refusal question to the people who make the decisions, but as far as I’m aware there are no unexpected surprises. If everything is as it should be, and you pass the police and health checks, everything should be good.

      As for how much you need in order to settle down before you get a job, I’d say at least $20,000, more if you can. The problem is there is no set timeline for how long it will take you to get a job, jobs in Adelaide are extremely hard to find at the moment. Some people have been out of work for a very long time.

      If you read my main page about Adelaide, or rather the comments on it, you will see that getting a job in Adelaide is probably most people’s biggest problem at the moment. Good luck though, Bob

  • Kintu Kidogo September 2, 2015, 6:07 am |

    Hello Bob,
    I could be relocation to Brisbane next year for work purposes. Tell me this, with a family of 3 (Me, my wife and baby), having to pay for Health Insurance (as required by a 457 visa) at a salary of about 3500 AUD per month, should I take this job?
    I know that after a while there and making the necessary adjustments we could make it work but what would you advise?
    Secondly, try to give me a basic breakdown for recurring costs (rent, utilities, food, transport, recreation) and savings based on that monthly salary.
    This would be very helpful for me at this point.

    • BobinOz September 2, 2015, 3:51 pm |

      This is very difficult to answer, I don’t know where you would be living exactly or what kind of assistance you’d be getting, if any. All I do know is $42k a year is a low wage and you may struggle with it.

      But if you could get by on it somehow, maybe you could have a better life than you have now wherever you are. That’s probably what you need to figure out.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Kintu Kidogo September 2, 2015, 5:26 pm |

        Hi Bob,
        I will not be getting any assistance. So I take it that’s it will be s struggle for me. What would this “struggle” consist of from your experience? What kind of lifestyle would I have to maintain to live within those limits?

        • BobinOz September 3, 2015, 7:27 pm |

          Yes, I think it will be a struggle, I can’t elaborate, I have no experience of this situation in Australia. As I’ve said, you need to look at how ‘well off’ you are where you live, and decide whether you could be better off here.

  • kgodfrey July 25, 2015, 8:13 pm |

    I am a UK radiographer looking to make the move to Brisbane or Melbourne and I would be wanting to rent on my own so family could visit what kind of salary should I be looking for?

    • BobinOz July 26, 2015, 10:02 pm |

      I’m not sure what kind of money a radiographer could earn, but you can research it yourself, I have a useful link on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      How much you would need really depends on whether you do go to Brisbane or Melbourne and how much you will need to pay in rent.

  • Avi January 29, 2015, 4:39 pm |

    Great article! You do deserve a nobel prize.
    I wish you could do a similar excersie for India as a lot of people from the subcontinent are emigrating to Oz land.
    Keep up the good work 🙂
    For your reference
    exchange rate 1 AUD =48.5 INR (Indian Rupee)
    India average salary is Rs. 300 – 350 per hour i.e let’s assume 7 AUD per hour.
    Now can you calculate in yakkas?

    • BobinOz January 29, 2015, 8:24 pm |

      Yes, I’m waiting for the phone call.

      You’ve sort of worked out the Indian yakka yourself, it’s Rs 325.

      So now you just have to compare prices of stuff from India and Australia. If something in India costs Rs 1000, then you have to work a wee bit over three hours to get it. If that same item costs, let’s say $80 AUD here, then you divide that by $32.80 (the Australian yakka) and discover you only need to work about 2 1/2 hours for the same thing.

      In that case, even though the thing is $80 here and the equivalent of $20 in India (Rs 1000÷48.5) – it’s still effectively cheaper here.

      If, on the other hand, that same item is $140 here, then it’s cheaper in India.

      I’m going back to sit next to the phone, won’t be long now 🙂

  • ABDULLAH August 6, 2014, 6:18 am |

    Hi can somebody tell me what is the salary of mpa(master in professional accountacncy) and m,com in Australia as i am planning to start a job as well as study as mention above AND i diid ACCA previously so please let me know because ur guidance will definitely play a help full role in my decision> REGARDS

  • Willowvel June 8, 2014, 8:52 am |

    Thought you may like to know that the average hours that we work are mainly 9-5.30 with 1 hour break for lunch so there fore we work around 37.5 hours per week. The figure you quite of 68 thousand is before tax so there fore we don’t actually earn the full amount even after the end of the finical year. To earn this sort of money you would either be in a government job or working in the public sector. Average earnings here in australia are much lower around the 30 grand mark. The cost of living here in aus is astounding England is a lot cheaper even Vegemite is cheaper in England than here even with the exchange rate..even tho you do earn less in England it’s still cheap to live and England has more benifits than what we do

    • BobinOz June 10, 2014, 1:01 am |

      I have gone to great lengths to explain where I got my figures from and I am fully aware of the average working hours here. I am also aware that my figures are before tax.

      What I would like you to explain though is where you get the information “To earn this sort of money you would either be in a government job or working in the public sector.” And also where you got your average earnings figure of $30,000.

      I suspect you plucked them out of the centre of your own brain 🙂

      I think you will also find that my cost of living comparison of groceries is far more scientific than your amazing Vegemite comparison.

      Thanks though, always interesting to hear other people’s opinions.


  • Asad February 27, 2013, 3:59 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I never gave a comment in any website but after reading your blogs I thought it would be unfair to not appreciate your research and findings.
    I am a mechanical engineer (scholarship holder and MSc graduate from Univ of Nottingham) have spent last 2 years in UK to find a job in my field but wasnt lucky enough so unwillingly did some retail jobs. Finally took my chances, resigned from the job, got the Australian work permit and so coming to sydney in july.
    Well in my seek UK is titanic crushed and drowned. And i am so much fed up that even I havent any savings, leaving my home, friends and relatives but just having faith on my skills i am coming to Aussie to explore the engineering.
    And I must say your blogs are very helpful and if I come to Brisbane(probably to find a job in sugar industry) i would love to have a cup of tea with you
    stay blessed

    • BobinOz February 27, 2013, 10:02 pm |

      Hi Asad

      Sounds like you are about to embark on a massive adventure, slightly risky maybe, but with the potential of huge rewards. I really hope it all pays off for you, you must let us know how it goes.

      And yes, if you find yourself in Brisbane, let me know and I’ll stick the kettle on.



      • Asad February 27, 2013, 11:34 pm |

        Hi Bob,

        Thanks for the wishes. Yeah its a risk but to sell myself in the Aussie market I have equipped myself with latest weapons. I hope my specialization in renewable energy (PV solar, thermal, maybe u know abt this ) will work out in Aussie heat.



        • BobinOz March 1, 2013, 8:09 pm |

          Yes, I do know a bit, I have had solar panels fitted to my roof and very good they are too. Just so that you know, each state or territory in Australia offers different incentives for the domestic installation of solar. There was a bit of gold rush to fit solar in Queensland last year as the government announced the end of its attractive incentives, so people needed to order solar before the deadline.

          I’m not sure what the other states or territories are currently offering, but you might like to look into it as it may help you isolate where most of the work currently use.



  • RB35 December 30, 2012, 5:19 pm |

    I would like to see a more precise Yakka that targets well respected salary surveys and matched against specific industry.

    E.G Graduate Lawyer salary, Mechanical Engineer Salary from the city of Melbourne against another equivilent city from Canada / US / UK and citing genuine salary survey data using after tax income.

  • Patrick November 22, 2012, 11:21 am |

    This is a great lesson, I will remember it in case a BobInOz exam comes up in the future 🙂
    I found a great website to compare all kinds of things between two countries, http://www.nationmaster.com , while I was looking for comparisons with US… I also found out that there’s more risk to die from falling from the bed than from a snake bite 😛

    (P.S. 234 days left!)

    • BobinOz November 26, 2012, 12:57 pm |

      Interesting website, thanks Patrick!

  • Alex October 30, 2012, 2:54 am |

    Absolutely love this. I´m in the process of applying with a load of other people for a job in Oz and it makes me squirm when they say “but the wages are a lot more over there, so quids in!!” SO not the right way to look at it! I personally divide everything OZ by 2.5 (back to what the exchange rate was many moons ago), which incidentally makes the Oz job work out the same as my UK wage for the same job. Divide that into the cost of a house/rent, and they suddenly don´t seem as scary. It also gives me a much more realistic idea of how much better/worse my quality of life will be doing the same job in Oz as I do in the UK. I seem to find that this way there´s less phaffing about with variables.

    Whether or not I take a hit of a few thousand, I don´t care. The sun will more than make up for it!!

    • BobinOz October 30, 2012, 8:49 pm |

      Hi Alex

      Glad you like this, I really do think it does put things into a better perspective for those coming here to live and scared stiff about the cost of living.

      It’s been a while since I looked at this post, I realised I hadn’t done the best job I could explaining my Romanian figures towards the end, so I added an update to show my workings out. I always used to get in trouble at school in maths for not showing my workings out, so I should have known better.

      My new absolutely simple new rule of thumb, if you’re interested, is to aim to earn twice as much here in Aussie dollars as you used to earn in the UK in GBP and you will be fine. Your standard of living will be just as good as you are used to, with added sunshine.

      Hope you find a job here soon.



      • Jules November 23, 2012, 12:59 am |

        Not too mention not freezing your cahones off and having to spend £1,500 a year to heat your house…

        …Having grown up in South Africa (heat) and having spent 10 years in the UK (cold), I can categorically say that heat is infinitely preferable to cold.

        With heat, yeah, you slow down and things can get uncomfortable, but you can live without air-conditioning.

        With cold, if you stop moving and cannot afford to heat your home, you die. It’s as simple as that.

        Besides, it’s so much more pleasant/easier being outside when the weather is warm as opposed to a cold climate. I honestly feel like a house-trapped prisoner for 8 months of the year here in the UK. I never ever felt that way in South Africa.

        Thanks for the great articles Bob!

        • BobinOz November 26, 2012, 1:25 pm |

          I couldn’t agree more, I’ll take hot over cold any day, and you can’t put a price on clear blue skies compared with grey and damp. Here in Australia, I really enjoy the great outdoors, even my own back garden. That didn’t happen in the UK.

          Thanks Jules!

          • Gillian January 24, 2014, 9:45 pm |

            Oh give me the cold any day!

            I think you need to earn triple your UK wage here in oz. my husband was earning £22000 and now earns $52000 and we are not even close to the comfort we had in the UK. I’ve had to go back to work to compensate.

            The ‘yakka’ tends to work well but I think wages estimate is a bit low.

            • BobinOz January 28, 2014, 2:53 pm |

              Maybe it doesn’t work so well at the lower end, but much depends on where you are living now compared with where you used to live. I’m surprised you could live comfortably on £22,000 back in the UK, but maybe you were living in a low-cost area.

              If you then move into one of Australia’s major cities, that’s not really like for like, and I could see how it wouldn’t work out.

              Thanks for letting us know, all information is good information, if maybe you could tell us where you used to live in the UK and where you now live here, that could help us understand.

              Cheers, Bob

  • Emily October 11, 2012, 7:40 am |

    Wonderful! 😀 I love your new unit “yakkas”. It’s a pretty simple method I’ll have to look into soon to compare Houston, Texas to cities in Australia.
    I found a website last year to provide research for a report for one of my classes: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp
    It gives you a rough idea of price differences and such.

    • BobinOz October 11, 2012, 10:57 pm |

      Hey, that’s quite a whizzy website isn’t it? Not sure how accurate it is, but certainly worth a look. Cheers Emily!

  • max January 8, 2012, 7:16 am |

    Hi Bob.
    How many yakkas would I have to work to rent out a small apartment in Sydney?
    Thanks in advance for the help!

    • BobinOz January 9, 2012, 2:50 pm |

      You might possibly be able to rent a small apartment in Sydney for around $400 a week, that’s about 13 hard yakkas. But that is based on average earnings here, how many yakkas you would have to work would depend on how much you earn per hour.

      Sydney is not cheap. Check out….
      Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia

  • Richard December 28, 2011, 12:31 pm |

    I am an Australian resident working and living in Brisbane and have just applied for a job in London (I also have a UK passport).

    I have just been questioned on what my salary expectations are.

    If I am on say AUD100,000 + 9% super, what should I be expecting salary rise from a UK job to be “just as well off” in terms of after tax income, superannuation, cost of living etc.


    • BobinOz December 30, 2011, 10:09 pm |

      Hi Richard

      As a very rough rule of thumb, I suggest to people that they should aim to earn twice as much money in Australian dollars here, as they earn in English pounds in the UK if they want to maintain the same standard of living.

      It’s not just me who thinks that, other people who have made comments on this blog feel the same. So if you’re going the other way, then I expect you’ll need to earn half as much in pounds as you do here in dollars.

      That would suggest that £50,000 a year will do, but I would hesitate to suggest that figure because you will be based in London, the U.K.’s most expensive city. People who work in London tend to get paid more, so maybe you should be shooting for £55-£60,000 a year, plus whatever you can get to compensate for your superannuation.

      I’ll be interested to hear what you do get offered, and if you take it up, what you think of England.

      Hope it works out well for you.


  • Azahan December 17, 2011, 4:37 pm |

    I’ve just applied for an Australian PR, and your site has given me loads of useful info!

    Anyways, one method that I’ve used to gauge purchasing power was to compare the price of one McDonalds value meal against the starting hourly pay of working there. Crude, but it does give a vague idea of how long you have to work there until you can buy your own meal.

    A couple of years ago I read about The Big Mac Index in the Economist which is a more scientific but similar concept.

    • BobinOz December 20, 2011, 12:21 am |

      Yes, the Big Mac Index does work, to a fashion.I think it was chosen because most countries have a McDonald’s and the meals are the same everywhere. So it’s easy to compare like-for-like.

      Good luck with your application for PR, maybe we’ll see you out here soon.

  • Sara Brankaer November 25, 2011, 5:23 am |

    I love the yakka! It shouldn’t only be used in comparing different countries, though. Even within Belgium, my electricity costs me less yakka, than it does my cleaning lady. That might not be fair, but it’s true, and it’s very important to be aware of this. It might be an interesting concept to teach my children,now I think of it, though at the ages of 1, 3 and 5 they’re not likely to graps it, just yet.

    • BobinOz November 28, 2011, 9:32 pm |

      Yes, sounds like your little ones might be a bit too young to understand the concept. Wait until they understand what work is, then run it past them.

      You can be head of the Belgian yakka if you want. Thanks Sara!

  • Andy Painter August 25, 2011, 5:27 pm |


    I like this idea of calculating stuff/expenses in the Hard Yakka, however you are working with averages, most people aren’t average, (either side)!

    Since i’ve been here for the last few months, i very quickly gave up using a direct conversion back to the UK pound, as it just doesn’t work. I’m not being paid in pounds anymore so i can’t use that as a direct basis to work out whether it’s expensive or not.

    What i now try and do to get a conversion rate, is work out what my monthly Net Income was from my UK salary, so after i had covered my tax and 10% pension what was a left with, and then look at my Net take home from my Oz salary, (i get paid the super 10%, additional, so that evens it out on the pension front). I get a rate of over 2 when i convert between what my UK net monthly salary was worth v’s and how much my Oz salary gives me, by example Net UK income 4000 (GBP), Net Oz income $8000. I then take this converter and apply it to my stuff i’m paying for, by example; it tells me that my Oz cup of coffee costing $3.50 would have cost me 1.75 (GBP) in the UK … so i can now do direct comparisons to understand whether stuff is expensive or not….. and some things are more and some are less. My calculation tells me that renting seems to be very expensive, which is unfortunately as it’s such a large expense, and also that new cars are expensive …. but that’s my choice i guess, to live in an expensive area and drive a new car …. there are cheaper areas and second hand cars!

    It’s worth talking about the difference that LAFHA can make, which really boosts up the take home here. If i wasn’t getting that, i’d find it expensive! Which means either OZ is expensive, i’m not being paid enough, or i’m living beyond my means (gulp). It would be very wrong to think that Australia is a cheap place to live, its not, its potentially the same as the UK, but you should get a better lifestyle/experience … but then where else in the world is cheap to live, in the last few years? This credit boom and rescue measures have really done some damage globally, …. more QE3, what a great idea, that should make it seem even more expensive!

    Sean: I’m amazed you can see jobs for $170 – $200K compared with 45 – 55K in the UK, something doesn’t sound correct here. I’m in IT, so i have an in-demand job, i have quite a lot of expereience, and earn’t a lot in the UK. I have a similar job/income in Oz, but it’s not that big a differential? Are you looking at jobs in Perth? or areas being driven by minning money? Could you post a link to the the jobs ….. i’m thiniking i’m in the wrong trade as well, (or being underpaid!)

    • BobinOz August 26, 2011, 7:16 pm |

      These days, if you do a direct conversion to GBP every time you buy something in Australia, you’d be too scared to go shopping.

      LAFHA – I had to look that one up! Living away from home allowance, what do I need to do to get it? Move out? Just kidding!

      No, Australia isn’t a cheap place to live, but it is, as you say, very comparable with the UK and you do get a much better lifestyle/experience for sure.

      As someone else said somewhere, I can’t remember who, whatever you are earning in England in pounds, make sure you earn double that here in Australian dollars and you’ll be okay.

      That is very true.

      • Andy Painter August 26, 2011, 8:34 pm |

        I’ve heard that as well, UK salary x2 in Ozzie $ should be about right. For me that only works with the LAFHA, otherwise i’m being underpaid 🙁

        Would you say that x2 will give you the same standard of living, but you are in a better environment? Or x2 actually give you a better environment and lifestyle. I think the goldern time to have moved over was when you did, 3 or 4 years ago, the cost of living, currency rate has moved on massivley since then.

        As ever, keep up the blogging!


        • BobinOz August 29, 2011, 8:38 pm |

          No, I think the golden time was about 10 years ago when you got three Australian dollars to the pound. That said, it was definitely a lot better than it is now when I moved in November 2007, although it would have been even better if I’d managed to move two months earlier, before Northern Rock crashed!

          I reckon two times your UK income will give you a better standard of living (bigger house mainly) and a better environment all round.

  • Sean July 27, 2011, 12:38 am |

    Bob, I’ve nearly caught up with all of your blogs and (without sounding sycophantic!) you obviously back up your findings and give a good opinion on life in Oz, something which I am taking great note of as I am in the process of making the move.
    Just to add to the comments here (about Gazza’s post), the salary rates are generally higher than the UK, but for certain professional roles, particularly like the ones in high demand, they are much, much higher.
    The construction industry is a great example, jobs are few and far between in the UK thanks to the recent recession, it is always the first and hardest hit, and the longest to recover.
    A typical Project Manager role in the UK is around £45-55 K.
    I have seen DOZENS of similar roles in all parts of Oz paying between $175-200 K.
    That’s why I’m getting off my but and going!

    • Sean July 27, 2011, 12:43 am |

      Oh, and one more thing, I’ve done a comparison between the two countries for tax rates, there are income tax calculators available in both countries which tell you exactly how much Tax, NI, etc you will pay.
      For that level of income they are virtually the same! (although I suppose you have to pay extra for medical care, but hey ho!)
      (UK calculator – http://listentotaxman.com/ AUS calculator – http://www.taxcalc.com.au/)

    • BobinOz July 27, 2011, 8:57 pm |

      Thanks Sean

      The funny thing is, because I haven’t lived here for very long I’m not in a position to make any kind of statements off the top of my head. So I do research and make sure that research is correct.

      As you can imagine, this is often more accurate than people who make statements based on their own personal experience or hearsay. Anyway, now you’ve made me want to be a project manager! Would I have to do much?

      And thanks for those two tax comparison calculators, I’m about to give them a go.


  • CathB June 5, 2011, 4:19 pm |

    sounds as though Gazza is the stereotypical “Whinging Pom”! Go back to England champ!!
    I’m loving your blog Bob. I married an Englishman at the beginning of this year & we’re currently talking about where to live… This has heaps of excellent info to help me convince him Australia is the place to be!

    • BobinOz June 6, 2011, 1:59 pm |

      Maybe we can have a whip round for Gazza’s one way flight?

      Thanks CathB, glad you’re enjoying the site. Hope to see you and your husband here in Australia soon.



      • markinoz June 22, 2011, 4:45 pm |

        Yeah Gazza has clearly missed the point of the blog and clearly dillusional if he believes UK is the best thing since sliced bread -18 degrees when I left in January 2011 to a balmy 20 degrees in Brisbane. A job that is secure and salray that is better cant be bad which I cant say I would have back in UK. Though bananas are incredibly expensive cant wait for the new crop in August

        • BobinOz June 23, 2011, 1:13 am |

          Oh my word, don’t get Gazza started on the price of banana’s!

          Yes, like yourself markinoz, most people prefer it here, but not everyone. Each to his own I suppose.

  • Gazza May 5, 2011, 10:25 am |

    Having lived in OZ since 1993 (Perth and Brisbane)and spent some years back in the UK working I can say that the cost of living here now is more expensive than the UK and on the whole wages are lower for skilled and professional people and taxes higher in Australia.
    Take housing in OZ way over priced compared to the rest of the West World and mortgage rates twice what they are in the UK .
    Supermarkets prices here are a bad joke and fruit and veg are very costly and not that good, everything here is regulated and less of an open market than the UK.
    No NHS here you pay to see the Doctor and proscriptions can be over twice the price of the UK and don’t bother going to the dentist unless you have the odd $1000 plus in your pocket, cheaper to go to Asia to get work done.
    Roads in Brisbane are at a standstill in peak times and petrol is now 40% more expensive that last year plus the roads that are flowing are Toll roads, average cost per day to use them around $10 and then there’s the Rego ( car Tax)$750 plus a year for one car .Just had a speeding fine $333 for 29kms over limit.
    Eating and drinking out here is now becoming beyond the average worker’s pay packet so are the holiday Hotels and flying around what is massive Country.
    If you do come to live in OZ make sure that you have at least $300k to start you off as cars, child care, schools, health care , homes , electrical goods , clothes , furniture will all hit you hard in the pocket but enjoy the floods .

    • BobinOz May 6, 2011, 12:59 am |

      And the research for all your nuggets of wisdom are where exactly, Gazza?

      So wages are lower and taxes are higher here are they? You see, I’ve done the research on both and you can read about it through these links….. wages and taxes.

      As for house prices, setting aside that the average house here is a mansion compared to a shoebox in England, prices aren’t that different, as you will see from my last house prices post.

      And for car rego, which includes insurance here, you pick the price for the biggest sized car in the dearest state, Queensland. Elsewhere it can be as low as $442, (small car in WA) and if you take out the insurance part, the actual rego part, equivalent to the UKs RFL, can be below $200 a year.

      To complain about the price of petrol here when it is currently over 40% more expensive in the UK tells me you’ve been living here too long. Roads at a standstill? Not in this city, not according to my post about traffic chaos in Brisbane. If you’d have said Sydney, well yeah.

      $300k minimum to get started? Where did you pluck that from? Any research?

      Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and if you don’t like Australia, that’s fine! But you’re not entitled to say things that aren’t true to backup your own opinion.

      For example, “don’t bother going to the dentist unless you have the odd $1000 plus in your pocket’ – me, my wife and my daughter all go to the dentist every six months and we don’t pay anything. It’s all covered by our medical insurance, which cost just $73.60 a month.

      See, I don’t think you’ve done any research at all. I get my info from places like the BBC, ABC, ABS and other government resources, I think you get your info off the top of your head.

      Maybe it’s time for you to move back to England. Maybe if you got caught driving 29 km over the speed limit there, the copper would just say “Nah, don’t worry about it mate. We’re not that pedantic here”.

      Good luck!

      • PyroMike January 28, 2014, 12:54 am |

        BobinOz, you know we have converted you and your a full-blown Aussie when you suggest to a whining Pom, who’s lived here for years, to consider packing his bags and going back to England…. brilliant!

        I’ve spent the last 3 or so hours perusing your site and the blog… Great site mate.

        Happy belated Australia Day.

        • BobinOz January 28, 2014, 5:12 pm |

          Ha ha, yes, I laughed out loud when I read your comment PyroMike, it’s very funny when you put it like that. He was a whinger though, wasn’t he?

          I had a great Aussie day, barbie and booze, normal thing, hope you had a good one as well. Glad you like my site. Cheers mate, Bob

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 2:53 pm |

    Elsewhere on this blog we’ve been shown how “expensive” Romania is, and here, Argentina. And we’ve proved that the USA, which most people regards as a cheap place for most stuff, I know I did, is actually quite expensive.

    Who’d have thought?

    Yes, the hard yakka works and Australia really isn’t as dear as people think.

  • Sunseeker January 27, 2011, 6:52 am |

    Dear Bob,

    I think the yakka’s are one of the most effective “cut-through-the-c**p” measures of cost of living in a country. I use the same method to show people the difference in living standards between various countries… I just never had such a catchy name for it!

    It gets even more interesting when you start factoring in things like annual leave allowances, what you get for your taxes (i.e. no NHS/Medicare in South Africa… without pricey medical aid schemes to take you to a private hospital, any moderately serious illness can quickly become a financial disaster – you take your life into your own hands by going to a state hospital – and that’s opinion directly from doctor friends working in RSA)

    I am always having the same arguments with my South African family and friends when they are horrified by UK prices. They just don’t seem to get the fact that if you are living and working in a country, then ergo, you must also be earning the local currency, as is everyone else. Therefore the “high prices” are actually pretty average prices. And in any event, pretty much every developed country outside of Africa will seem expensive to South Africans.

    Finally, I fully agree with you: by the yakka method, Oz is definitely the better place to be on almost all counts (aside from cars… the UK still pips oz to the post on buying a car!)

    And you cannot put a price on 5/7 days average sunshine!

  • BobinOz December 13, 2010, 1:14 pm |

    Hi Ricardo

    3091 per month or per week? Looks like you divided it by 40, but if it’s per month, I calculate the Arg yakka at 17.83. That’d make your iPad over 200 yakka’s and the rent 84.12 yakka’s. So it’s even worse!

    You can rent a good 4 bed house here for about 55 yakka’s a month.

    Thanks for letting us know about your country, always good to check out and compare with other places.



  • BobinOz December 13, 2010, 1:06 pm |

    Hi Calin

    Thanks for your comments and hope you get that visa soon, you’d have a ball out here!

  • Ricardo December 10, 2010, 11:06 pm |

    Average wage in Arg: 3091 pesos per month
    Therefore, the worker earns 77,27 pesos per hour
    1 dollar = 4 pesos
    To buy the IPad table we have 54,30 yakkas 🙁
    Another example with food here:
    a big pizza is 25 pesos
    so, we need 0,32 yakkas to buy a pizza
    An average flat rent per month is 1500 pesos or 19,41 yakkas!! You work most of the month to pay de rent!!! 🙁 very sad!!!
    I wanna go to Australia!!!

  • ricardo December 10, 2010, 10:24 pm |

    Hi bobby!! The yakkas is great ! 😉 I will calculate the Argentinian one for an ipad! Ahh… Of course I’m not gonna buy it!

  • Calin Cristian December 10, 2010, 7:57 pm |

    Great article! You should change your job, or at least work extra. 🙂
    I can’t wait to finish my school and apply for a Visa.

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