Nothing technical about inflation pain

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Today’s monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) data has shown the impact of inflation on everyday Australians is real and it is acute.

The headline inflation rate of 5.2% remains well above the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target band of 2-3%. Soaring prices of electricity, gas, insurance, rent and automotive fuel mean what Australians are feeling is far worse than the headline figure suggests.

Excluding volatile items, CPI also remains well above the headline rate at 5.5% with annual trimmed mean inflation at 5.6%.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said household budgets are being squeezed at every possible angle under Labor.

“Soaring energy bills, rising grocery prices, sky high mortgages and rents and now escalating fuel prices. How much more can Australians cop?” Mr Taylor said.

“Despite promising day after day to bring the cost of living down before the election, Labor has made a bad situation worse.

“The Coalition has been calling on the government for over a year to rein in its spending to take pressure off prices but Deutsche Bank analysis this week has shown Labor governments around the country increasing spending by 2% of GDP.

“Families are paying a hefty price for Labor’s failure to take inflation seriously.

“Energy companies told the Cost of Living Committee there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of Australians struggling to pay their energy bills with more people now accessing hardship programs than during the COVID pandemic. 

“Despite the real pain families are feeling, the Treasurer started the week claiming balancing growth with keeping inflation low was a ‘narrow’ and ‘technical’ objective.

“This is a government missing in action on the fight against inflation and is distracted by its Canberra Voice and repaying favours to its biggest donors – the unions.

“Labor must treat inflation as priority one, two and three. Unfortunately that’s not what we’re seeing and it’s hardworking Australians paying the price.”