Restraint is a big word. Until yesterday I didn’t know how big, but after the budget we can put an exact figure on restraint. Apparently you can increase spending by $185 billion in less than 12 months and still call it restraint. Laughable as that sounds, it’s exactly what the Treasurer did when he delivered a typical Labor big-spending, big-taxing budget. In the face of some of the greatest inflationary challenges we’ve seen in our lifetimes, this budget is pouring fuel onto the fire. While it’s laudable for any nation to protect its most vulnerable, by taking responsible fiscal policy off the table and leaving Groom’s mortgage holders sweating under the sledgehammer of further interest rate hikes, this budget condemns middle Australia to more pain for longer.
There can be no dispute now as to who’s responsible for any additional mortgage pain Australians are feeling. With this budget, Labor has taken full ownership of this economy. My concern is for those aspirational Australians living in Toowoomba, Oakey and Pittsworth who are already feeling mortgage stress, people who have seen the low- and middle-income tax offset taken away, people who have seen grocery prices and energy prices absolutely skyrocket and people whose hard-earned taxes have been frittered away in this big-spending budget. To them, I say: if you think your housing costs are high now, wait until another 1.5 million new Australians flood the market in the middle of a housing crisis. It is sad but it is true: you will always pay more under Labor.