‘We are not a serious country if a decent coffee sets you back more than $5’

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The cost of living is enough to make you want to go back to bed in the morning.

And you might have to – with a flat white being worth at least $5.50, according to one cafe boss.

Melbourne coffee roaster St Ali’s chief executive, Lachlan Ward, told the Herald Sun that you should be paying a minimum of $5.50 and his cafe is already charging $6.50.

Cafes should “be brave and adjust up” to a “fair price”, Mr Ward says, because current prices are “not sustainable” and will lead to small operators closing.

We are not a serious country if a decent coffee sets you back more than a fiver.

It’s almost enough to drive you to International Roast – almost.

I don’t suspect cafes want to price gouge. Rather, they’re facing the same cost increases the rest of us are – electricity, gas, rent and supplies.

And the only person they can recoup that from is the customer. But the customer is already pressed for cash himself.

In this evermore expensive world, it’s the small pleasures that bring some brightness to your day. But they’ve all just about been priced out of contention.

You can barely find a schooner or a glass of wine for less than $10.

Walk into a bottle shop and you’re paying $50 for a basic bottle of vodka or whisky because the spirits tax has gone up 16 per cent in the past three years. The cost of a bottle of Bundaberg Rum includes 63 per cent of pure tax.

A packet of durries will set you back $50, again because of extortionate tax.

And how the hell did a packet of chips get to $7? It’s fried potato, for heaven’s sake.

Teage Ezard, the owner of Gingerboy restaurant in Melbourne, which recently closed after 18 years due to financial woes, says the price of meals needs to increase to cover overheads but customers are unwilling to cop the cost.

He says mains are worth $50 or more.

Even the humble schnitty is pushing $30 in many pubs.

It’s bad enough that the essentials are all so expensive. But it is the little things that make life that much easier.

Don’t forget that so many things that make the cost of living so expensive could be easily changed by the federal government.

Halve the fuel and alcohol excises and you’ll provide instant relief.

Fuel is, of course, essential – and cutting tax on alcohol would deliver a shot in the arm to struggling pubs and restaurants.

Rising rent and house prices are, in no small part, driven by record-high levels of immigration coupled with record-low home builds.

And if you can’t even have a coffee in the morning to cope with it all, then God help us.

Caleb Bond is a Sydney-based commentator and host of The Late Debate on Sky News Australia