14 Jun | '2023
In the lead-up to the last election, those opposite, Labor, promised Australians that life would be cheaper under them. I ask Australians: do you remember that? Labor promised cheaper mortgages, cheaper electricity and cheaper child care. All of those have been broken promises, because all we’ve seen in the last 12 months is the cost of living and the cost of everything continuing to increase under this Labor government. Families are simply struggling. Bills are piling up, grocery costs are skyrocketing and those who own a home or are looking to buy have watched 11 consecutive interest rate rises under this Prime Minister. Australians are concerned about what those interest rate rises mean for their budgets and about the difficult decisions they face over the coming months. Under the latest rate rise, Australians with a typical mortgage of $750,000 will now be paying $1,856 more per month. That’s huge. That’s more than $22,000 a year that they’ll need to find. Where are they going to find it from?
And what is this Labor government doing to support you and to support your family? Nothing. In fact, this month’s interest rate increase is just further proof that Labor’s budget did nothing to fight inflation. Labor has been in government for more than a year now—more than 12 months—and they’ve delivered two budgets. This is Labor’s rate rise. It’s a fail. This rate rise belongs to this government. The Reserve Bank has made it very clear that there’s more interest rate pain on the horizon. There’s more pain coming for you if you have a mortgage. This is the genie out of the bottle. It’s the inflation genie that has been let out of the bottle. It’s the failings of this government to take leadership on addressing the biggest economic challenge faced by all Australians, which is inflation. It’s not coming from the war in Ukraine. It’s not coming from Vladimir Putin, as those opposite like to claim it is.
I hear scoffs from those opposite. It’s not coming from there; it’s coming from here! Inflation is coming from Canberra. It’s coming from this government, and it’s about time this government did something to address it. Unless the government limits its spending, Labor will continue to add to the cost of your mortgage, rent, groceries and just about everything else that you’re spending your hard-earned money on. Australia has one of the highest rates of core inflation amongst similar advanced economies. Millions of Australians are hurting and have just simply been forgotten by this government. They’re feeling the pain of the cost-of-living crisis.
According to realestate.com.au, some Queensland homeowners are cutting back on early childhood education just to pay the bills. They’re taking their children out of care so that they can meet their bills—something the government promised families would be cheaper under them. That’s another commitment they won’t be able to follow through on because fees are going up and subsidies will be eroded. We know that. We have been warning against this.
The government has benefited from the last nine years of the coalition’s strong economic management. We created over two million jobs in nine years and left Labor with the lowest unemployment rate in almost half a century—50 years. We also bequeathed interest rates at historic lows. It’s an undeniable true fact. Labor also benefited from company tax receipts and the revenue generated from soaring coal, gas and other mining commodities, and they’ve squandered it all. The decisions made by this Prime Minister and his government are causing the economy real damage and causing Australian families real damage.
Labor have had the chance to deliver a budget that reduced inflation and reined in spending to combat the cost-of-living crisis facing all Australians. Instead, their budget makes life harder for Australians, small businesses, self-funded retirees and those mortgage holders. Their budget also confirmed that real wages are stagnant, that the cost of living will continue to rise, that gas and electricity bills will continue to skyrocket, that the unemployment rate will rise, that inflation will remain stubbornly high—it’s all in the budget papers—and Australians will continue to face higher taxes.
Many Australians are asking themselves whether they are better off under Labor after just one year. This is just 12 months under Labor; imagine what it will be like in two or maybe even three years time. Three things are clear when it comes to this government: you can’t trust Labor, you can’t trust Labor to run the economy or to keep their promises, and Australians will always pay more under a Labor government.