Out of date and out of touch: Labor ignoring what matters

Friday, 21 July 2023

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has today put his signature on a public document which claims wellbeing is improving for Australian mortgage holders.  

The painful reality is a typical Australian family with kids and a mortgage is already around $25,000 worse off since Labor came to government. 

The ‘Measuring What Matters’ report has shown the Treasurer is so out of touch he is using two-year-old data to try and get a picture of how Australians are faring with their mortgages. This is despite 280 submissions, six months of taxpayer funded consultation and $157 million in extra funding to the Treasury portfolio for better data in the last Budget.  

The Treasurer today admitted he receives more up to date data on mortgage holders but it was not included in the report.  

Dr Chalmers’ excuse that this was a first attempt does not pass muster. Commonwealth governments have tracked longitudinal trends in Australians economic, social connectedness, health and wellbeing through the HILDA project for 22 years and published this data for 17 years through the Department of Social Services’ annual HILDA statistical report.   

No amount of spin will change the fact that the Government has released a deeply embarrassing report which is insulting to Australians struggling with the cost of living crisis and cuts to mental health services under Labor. 

The Treasurer has confirmed Labor’s approach to the economy is out of date and out of touch.  

The best way to improve Australians’ wellbeing is to have a government that makes managing the economy and fighting inflation priority one, two and three. 

Instead, we have a Prime Minister distracted by the Voice and a Treasurer distracted by reinventing capitalism, wasting money and raising taxes.  

Australians struggling with the cost of living at the bowser, at the checkout and with their energy bills do not need a report from the Treasurer to tell them how much better life was two years ago.  

The Treasurer doesn't need a half-baked wellbeing report to understand Australians’ wellbeing. He needs a reality check. 

Australia’s economy is grinding to a halt on Labor’s watch with Australia experiencing: 

  • One of the highest core inflation rates amongst advanced economies 

  • Economic growth at half the OECD average 

  • Record collapses in labour productivity 

  • The highest collapse in real wages on record 

  • Higher spending, higher interest rates and higher taxes with an extra $185 billion of spending across two budgets and broken promises on taxes on super, franking credits, small businesses and sneaky increases to personal income tax through bracket creep.