House debates

Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Matters of Public Importance

Cost of Living

4:11 pm

Photo of Rob MitchellRob Mitchell (McEwen, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

They get very angsty about this, but they never do anything. They left a trillion dollars worth of deficit. Remember, they made these great big mugs—there are plenty of mugs over there—with 'back in black', because they were going to bring a budget surplus. But they never did. We heard those opposite say, 'The best way to curb inflation is a cash handout.' That's coming from one of their shadow ministers, apparently the best and brightest.

What we know is that to curb inflation, to stop pressure on inflation, you've got to be able to do things like lower the cost of living. That's why you do things like support families with cheaper child care. This is so people—predominantly women, this impacts—can go to work more days a week, to earn more, to help their families and businesses. It's about supporting things like the Housing Australia Future Fund, which will deliver new homes. It means people will stay in jobs. It means the housing and construction industry, which is very important in Victoria, will continue to grow. It means people fleeing domestic violence and veterans who are homeless will have an opportunity to get a roof over their head. But no, they want to team up with their mates in the Greens and say no, because it's not an idea that suits their inbuilt, ingrained hatred for people who are doing it tough. You always notice that people who are doing it tough are the first people they attack. We're trying to raise the age for family support to 14 so that people on single-mothers pensions, predominately, can get support for their children. They're saying no. Mind you, this was a policy that they had when they were in government. It takes a special kind of nastiness to oppose your own policy, but it's consistent with what we've seen with this opposition.

The government has been working extremely hard. In my electorate we've been benefiting heavily from things like the Medicare urgent-care clinics and what we did with supporting families that are doing it tough and what we're trying to do with electricity. We keep hearing them talk about the $275, but they never actually complete the statement, because if they completed the statement they'd have to go back and apologise for all the untruths. It was by 2025. Mind you, this was a former government which promised $500 off electricity bills but actually increased them by 45 per cent.

The MPI was led by the member for Farrer, who's currently under a preselection threat and wants to talk about values and ethics and doing everything properly. Let's remember, I sat in this House when that member was pummelled off the frontbench for misuse of travel funds and then brought a live animal export bill in here. 'This is the most important thing,' she said. 'We've got to stop live animal exports.' But she quickly pulled that apart to make sure she got back on the frontbench. So it's very hard to stand here and hear them talk about morals and ethics when that's the leadership that they offer to the Australian people.


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