The mathematically literate (not me) will immediately see that the third bar is derived by subtracting the second from the first. Obviously the Hawke/Keating years contained the recession and were bedevilled during the 1980s with high inflation (8% pa on average, from memory). After that the bottom line is that we fared as well under Rudd with the CFC and Gillard with galloping utilities bills and the dreaded carbon tax as we did under the salad years of Howard and Costello.
Where you were matters quite a lot:
It also matters what you consume:
The strongest contributors to the household budget are food, transport and housing. In 2013, food and transport both contribute around 17% of all expenditure. Housing (rent, mortgage, rates and other housing costs) make up around 15%.
Obviously reduced interest rates have been a benefit to those with mortgages. If you are a pensioner in your own house with no mortgage, then utilities bills and transport are a pain.
Abbott would have us believe we are all worse off under Labor. On average he is wrong.