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Matter of Public Interest Debate Thursday 3 August

Parliament House, Canberra

House of Representatives

This Government’s failure to fight inflation first.” 

I address the House to respond to the matter that has been put before us today to contend the Albanese Labor Government has failed to fight inflation first.

I reject the notion.

I will outline the reasons the House should reject this notion too.

Before I do that, I will remind the House of the state of the Liberal’s economic credibility.

They said inflation would keep going up because of our government spending priorities.

No, they were wrong.

Inflation has moderated.

They said the budget was out of control.

They were wrong, the Albanese Labor Government delivered a budget surplus.

They said government spending would lift wages, and increased wages would reduce the rates of employment.

They were wrong.

Unemployment is at historic lows.

I announced yesterday to the House that in my local region alone there has been an increase of 0.4% in jobs since June last year.

In real terms, this means 9,000 more people in jobs in my local region.

Unlike the Liberals, our economic plan is working.

It’s not an opinion - the figures show that.

The Liberals cannot put inflation first when keep saying no to Australians.

The Prime Minister calls them the NOALITION.

The NOALITION says NO to doing the job of tackling inflation.

That’s because they have said NO to:

  • Energy Price relief
  • A real increase to the minimum wage
  • The Housing Australia Future Fund
  • Fee-Free TAFE to address our skills shortage.
  • The National Reconstruction Fund

Instead, the Albanese Labor Government moves forward to make the smart and responsible decisions to balance the demands of our economy.

And Mr Speaker, the Albanese Labor Government is in tune with what is going on around the country.

The Albanese Labor Government understands the cost-of-living pressures affecting a lot of Australians.

We know that many people are finding it tough right now.

I have spent the past month talking to people in my community about this.

I know what people are going through.

That is why I know the plan of the Albanese Labor Government is putting inflation first.

Because unlike the members on the other side of this house, I have taken the time to understand what it will mean to the community.

It is an economic plan that has been carefully put together with the aim of easing the cost-of-living pressure - not making it worse.

It’s a plan that is driven by the need to fight inflation first.

It’s a plan expected to reduce inflation by three-quarters of a percentage point this year.

That’s what putting inflation first will do.

The plan is a long-term strategy to balance the priorities of the nation.

The plan will provide everyday Australians with the assistance they need when they need it the most.  Things like

  • Relief to energy bills.
  • Cheaper childcare for Australian families
  • Cheaper medicine for people who need it.
  • Rental assistance for those struggling to meet their payments.

We understand that lower inflation will give the RBA more room to move.

Lower inflation will ultimately lead to lower interest rates.

This is good news for homeowners.

We know that we need to keep working hard on helping Australians cope with the cost-of-living pressures.

The inflation levels are more consistent than we would like.

That’s why we know it must continue to moderate and inflation further.

We are doing the hard work that needs to be done to invest in Australia’s future.

The measures I have outlined are fighting inflation first.

Labor is correcting the decade of Liberal mismanagement.

Labor is addressing the decade of Liberal neglect.

Labor is economically credible.

Only Labor will fight inflation first.