There was plenty of talk in Crikey yesterday about the cost of living and whether us whingeing Australians need to realign our expectations. All heavily qualified with a nod to those in "the bottom quintile of incomes," as Bernard Keane put it, "who spend a much bigger proportion of their income on necessities than the rest of us. But even they have enjoyed nearly 20% growth in real income over the last 30 years." But what about the people with no prospect of a regular income?

Eva Cox acknowledged the bracket of people who really are #doingittough (yes a hash tag on Twitter started trending) -- people beyond the bottom quintile of incomes who are attempting to live off Newstart -- when she wrote, "it is obvious that those dependent on dole payments are grossly underpaid."