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Committee confirms Labor’s cost of living crisis

A parliamentary committee established to examine the cost of living has confirmed what the people of regional Victoria already know – there is a cost of living crisis under Labor.

The Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living released its Interim Report on 3 May 2023 after a public submission process and a series of hearings in major cities as well as suburban locations like south western Sydney and Melbourne’s outer east.

The Interim Report included 11 major findings, including:

  • Labor’s spending is contributing to inflation;
  • The most effective way to reduce inflation is to have monetary policy and fiscal policy working in the same direction; and
  • The cost of living crisis is causing an increase in the demand for services provided by the charitable and not-for-profit sector.

The Interim Report found that Labor’s spending is contributing to the cost of living crisis by adding to inflationary pressures and inflationary expectations.

Labor’s big spending comes at the same time as the Reserve Bank of Australia continues to increase interest rates to try to tackle inflation.

The RBA has been forced to increase interest rates ten times since Labor came to Government. Mortgagees across regional Victoria will now have to pay $21,000 more to cover the increases in their mortgage costs – at the same time they are paying higher grocery prices and higher energy bills.

Senator Sarah Henderson said Labor’s Budget needs to respond to the report’s findings by delivering responsible cost of living relief for regional Victorians which does not make inflation worse.

“The Committee’s Interim Report is very clear – the cost of living crisis is driving more people to seek assistance from charities,” Senator Henderson said.

“Regional Victorians including those living in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are experiencing higher mortgage rates, higher energy prices and higher grocery bills. They haven’t received any of the so-called cost of living relief Labor promised.”

“This Budget is a test for Labor. Will they deliver a budget which responds to the findings of this Report and doesn’t make the inflation problem worse, or will they let the people of regional Victoria bear the brunt of their poor economic management?”

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