Doorstop with Shadow Treasurer, Jim Chalmers MP
THURSDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Under Scott Morrison petrol prices are going up, real wages are going down, and working families are going backwards; An election about the costs of living will be an election about wages; Scott Morrison always takes the credit but he never takes responsibility.
ANIKA WELLS, MEMBER FOR LILLEY: Good morning everyone. I'm Anika Wells, the federal Member for Lilley, and it's great to welcome Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers to the superior side of the river! Here in Brisbane this morning, we've been talking about cost of living with local families.
We've been down at Espresso Train at Nundah, one of Australia's first social enterprises. And the good people at Espresso Train provide more than 11,000 hours of secure work to people living on the margins here on the Northside of Brisbane. And it was so good to spend some time with them this morning.
Something that people are talking about at the moment is the cost of petrol prices and the cost of living generally. Here on the north side of Brisbane, here in Lilley, house prices have gone up 30% - 30% - under this LNP Government. In the time of the Morrison Government that we've been living under for eight, nearly nine years, now - the cost of going to see your local GP is going up 34%, nearly forty bucks a visit now to visit the GP. And finally childcare prices, for someone like me, three young children in childcare, the cost of childcare has gone up 39% since the LNP Government took over back in 2013. That's a huge whack to your household budget, an absolutely huge whack.
And the real killer is that wages are going backwards. In the past year, we found out yesterday, real wages have gone backwards 0.8%. Everything is going up except wages. We've got to do something about it. So I was really pleased that the Shadow Treasurer joined me here today to talk to Northside families about that and about what we can do.
JIM CHALMERS, SHADOW TREASURER: Thanks very much, Anika. It is a real pleasure to be here in the electorate of Lilley with Anika, our tremendous first-term Member for Lilley, making a big contribution locally and also in the national Labor team under Anthony Albanese.
Under Scott Morrison petrol prices are going up, real wages are going down, and working families are going backwards.
That is the best summary of eight long years of this Government and of Australian working families being left in the lurch. Petrol prices up, real wages down, working families going backwards.
In Brisbane over the last year, petrol prices have gone up 24%, in Sydney 27%, in Melbourne 23%, in Perth 24%.
Ordinary working families are getting absolutely pummelled by skyrocketing petrol prices at the same time as real wages are going backwards in this country.
Now the Prime Minister says we're in a campaign already, so be it. The Prime Minister says he wants the campaign to be about costs of living, so be it. Any campaign about the costs of living is a campaign about real wages going backwards. We've had eight long years of wage stagnation in this country and the Morrison Government's own Budget says that over the next four years real wages will go backwards. Any campaign about the cost of living is a campaign about Scott Morrison's failure on stagnant wages.
Ordinary working families - here on the Northside, in my neck of the woods in the Southside, and right around Australia - they understand that Scott Morrison's not on their side.
If he wants to talk about petrol prices, we say good. If he wants to talk about the cost of living, that's a good thing.
Let's have an argument about the cost of living and the capacity of the ordinary working families of middle Australia, when they've got real wages going backwards, to actually meet the rising costs of living.
Never forget that this Government said that stagnant wages were ‘a deliberate design feature’ of their economic policies. That's why we've had these eight years of stagnant wages, it's why we're expecting four more, and it's why working families are finding it so hard to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of petrol.
Now the big risk at this election is three more years of attacks on wages, and job security, and Medicare, which make it that much harder for the working families of middle Australia to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of petrol.
The Prime Minister this morning was talking about the recovery in the economy. Once again, the Prime Minister's trying to take credit for jobs which haven't materialised yet, but he won't take responsibility for 200,000 jobs lost in the last two months alone. This is a Prime Minister who always takes credit, but never takes responsibility. When things are starting to improve he pretends it’s all his doing, when times are tough he's missing in action. We hear that again, and again, and again, in our communities.
We all want this economy to recover strongly, but it's not a recovery if ordinary working families are falling behind. It's not a recovery if we see more of the same declines in real wages. It's not a recovery if ordinary working families can't meet the skyrocketing costs of living. It's not a recovery if working families are left behind. If we re-elect Scott Morrison, and Josh Frydenberg, and the LNP, there'll be more of the same wage stagnation, more of the same real wages going backwards, more of the same skyrocketing costs of living.
Australians need and deserve better than that. The working families of suburbs like this and right throughout middle Australia need a Government and a Prime Minister that's on their side. That's why it's so crucial that we return Anika Wells, we elect Anthony Albanese as the Prime Minister of this country, so we can do something meaningful about getting wages going again in this country. Thanks.