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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Necessary Expenses

Necessary Expenses.

Before he can save anything out of this, he has to pay for food, fuel, clothing, lodging, medicine, and medical attendance, for himself and his family if he have one. It is probable that he will soon be able to get free education for his children; but even then he must pay something for stationery, books, slates, &c., and if he live beyond walking distance from a school, it will cost him £2 a year railway fare, irrespective of distance, for each child.

The cheapest full board and lodging costs 18s. a week, or £47 a year, to a single man in town. A decent cottage for a married couple and two or three children—say three rooms—cannot be hired for less than 7s. per week, or £18 4s. a year, in towns or suburbs. In the country, lodging is generally provided by the employer, page 7 and a corresponding deduction made from the wages. The Immigration Officer at Christchurch (centre of a district where the working man is as well off as anywhere in the Colony) in a recent official report, states the wages of "married men with families" to be "4s. to 6s. a day, with cottage found." The medium wage, 5s. a day, if for every day wet or dry, comes to £77 10s. a year, without any rent to pay. Paying rent as above for a cottage of his own, his remaining income from £93 would not be more than £74 10s. The bachelor would have £46 a year remaining, after paying for food and fuel as well as lodging.