As we head towards a Christmas much tighter than many of us had hoped for, Australians will be reflecting on some very important questions, questions that become more and more relevant every day the Albanese government continues on its current path: Are you better off today than you were before Labor came to power? Is life easier?
The Treasurer was recently caught out by ABC’s Fact Check after trying to convince Australian workers that they were better off. The fact is that real wages are going backwards, and they’re going backwards at a rate faster than any other country in the developed world. This year, we’ve seen real wages go backwards by 5.1 per cent. At the same time, we’ve seen many other countries have their real wages go forward: America by 3.2 per cent and the UK by 2.2 per cent. Australians might be getting paid more, but we can afford less.
Since Labor came to government, we’ve seen child care rise by 9.5 per cent and food rise by 8.2 per cent. Housing is up by 10.4 per cent, insurance is up by 17.3 per cent and electricity is up by 18 per cent. The reason your dollar isn’t going as far is that Labor hasn’t tamed inflation. Australia’s headline inflation rate is now the worst of the 15 largest advanced economies of the world, at 5.4 per cent, and core inflation–which excludes food and energy–is third worst, at 5.2 per cent. Other countries have done a much better job than Australia of getting on top of inflation.
The RBA has now confirmed what we’ve all known for some time: inflation is being driven by domestic factors, by government decisions, decisions like increasing spending by $188 billion. Because of decisions like that, inflation is likely to be higher for longer. I believe that every day the government continues on its path, the answer to that question, ‘Are you better off today than you were before Labor came to power?’ will be a stronger and stronger no. We’re seeing that in Roy Morgan Research. It shows that 55 per cent of Australians say they are financially worse off than they were a year ago. Less than a third of us think we’ll be better off in a year’s time.
When the Treasurer was caught out trying to tell Australians they’re better off, once again, just like the Voice referendum, it revealed a government out of touch with the Australian people. Before the election, the Prime Minister knew exactly what to say. He promised to cut your power bills by $275. That hasn’t happened. Our power bills have gone up. He promised cheaper mortgages. That hasn’t happened. Mortgages have gone up. He promised cheaper grocery bills and to drive down the cost of living. That hasn’t happened.
The Prime Minister knew what to say to get into government, but he doesn’t know what to do now that he’s in government, and Australians are paying the price. Every additional dollar the government puts into the economy is another dollar that the RBA has to take out through interest rates. That is simple economics that households doing their budgets around the country can understand, but the Treasurer’s 6,000-word manifesto on remaking capitalism failed to grasp. Once again, this is a government that is out of touch with the Australian people.
This Christmas, while the government tries to convince you what a great job it’s done when it points to its wonderful success in giving unions more power in industrial relations, releasing hardened criminals onto our streets, driving off investment in mining and gas and cutting road safety projects in regional areas, ask yourself: are you better off today than you were before Labor came into power?