HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 MARCH 2022
A muesli bar, a can of chicken, a jar of Vegemite: what do they have in common? All of these products have longer use-by dates than the promises of last night's budget, which had a one-off cash handout in April, a one-off tax payment in July and petrol price relief that ends in September.
The cost-of-living problem might be new to this government, but it's not new to the Australian people.
We've just had the worst decade of income growth since the Great Depression, yet the budget had no enduring solutions for cost of living, no comprehensive childcare solution, no powering Australia plan, and it had no answers for declining productivity, which underpins wages; no free TAFE places; no additional university places. If the government hadn't given $20 billion of JobKeeper to firms with rising revenues, it might be able to address the problems of Australian households. Yet, as always, they put billionaires before battlers.
Australians know that a government that's past its use-by date, like a stale product, starts to give off a smell. We are looking at a government like that right now.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.