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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

The Budget: A missed opportunity in a cost of living crisis

The Federal budget has promised to get the nation back in the black, while regional Australians are already feeling the pinch and the tierney of distance driving up the rising costs of living.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the budget, “was a missed opportunity to address the cost of living crisis that's bedeviling Australians, and particularly those living my electorate.”

Regional consumer stress has risen in regional Australia, according to the National Australia Bank (NAB), “since 2022, cost of living stress has grown more rapidly in regional areas.” NAB’s cost of living stress index reach 70.5 in rural areas, compared to 68.2 in the cities.

Mr Pasin said the budget will add inflation which will be felt by Australians.

“It's a budget that's actually added fuel to the inflation fire which is only going to end in interest rates going up, and that's the single most significant concern people have, the mortgage that they're having to pay every fortnight or at the end of every month,” he said.

“The first, second, third and fourth thing that people want to talk to me about in the electorate right now is the escalating cost of living crisis and almost every measure in this budget seems to be tailored at making the situation worse.”

Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association, Ai Group, called the household based subsidies and handouts a “Band-Aid” and a “sugar hit” that lacks the “imagination required to power the Australian economy through a period of anaemic growth.”

"While they have been designed to lessen the direct inflationary impact, these Band-Aids and sugar hits also fail to address the underlying causes of the problems they are trying to solve around housing shortages and underlying energy costs,” Mr Willox said.

The budget has injected $15 billion dollars into welfare including increase the single parent allowance cut off from 8 years to 14 years and a increase of $40 dollars to job keeper payments. The budget didn’t provide much relief for hard working Australians, offering no real incentives to enter the workforce. Mr Pasin called the cost of living pressures a “crisis,” calling on the Albanese government to reveal their “plan” to address the issues.

“There's no plan to address this crisis and that's what we're calling on the Albanese Labor government to do," he said.

“Just tell us what your plan is because Australians want to know what the plan is, because right now they feel like they're the working poor,” Mr Pasin said.

“[Australians] feel like they get up in the morning, work their guts out, 9 to 5, often 9 to 9, only to find themselves poorer at the end of the week, end of the month and end of the year.”

“I don't want us to end up with an American style working poor. I want people who put in to get ahead,” Mr Pasin said.


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