JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
AUSTRALIANS CAN’T RISK MORE COMPLACENCY ABOUT THE RECOVERY
We welcome the expected rebound in the economy in the December quarter after the big downturn we didn’t have to have in the quarter before.
Today’s National Accounts are from last year and a lot has happened since.
They don’t reflect the summer from hell millions of Australians have just endured or the damage done by Scott Morrison’s incompetence with rapid tests and grocery shortages.
We want the economy to recover strongly, and a bounce-back from a very low base is welcome and unsurprising, but we can’t be complacent.
Australia had one of the worst performing economies in the developed world in the September quarter as a result of the Morrison Government’s failures, and today’s numbers represent a modest improvement from an historically large contraction.
The economy and the recovery would be much stronger today if ordinary Australians weren’t paying the price for this Government’s incompetence.
Five times now Josh Frydenberg has claimed credit for a recovery that is yet to materialise, and Australians cannot afford for this to be the Treasurer’s sixth false dawn.
What matters most to working families in the economy is that their costs are going through the roof, their real wages are falling, and they’re falling behind.
Skyrocketing costs of living and falling real wages shouldn’t be the thanks Australians get for the sacrifices they made during the pandemic.
Today’s National Accounts confirm –
- The cost of living is skyrocketing: The domestic final demand implicit price deflator rose 1.1 per cent, the fastest rate since September 2008.
- Business investment dropped: Despite all the talk from the Treasurer about “handing the batton” to the private sector, business investment dropped this quarter. Business investment is 20 per cent lower under the Liberals than when Labor left office.
- Productivity got worse: GDP per hour worked fell by 0.8 per cent this quarter.
Re-electing the Morrison Government means risking another three years of stagnant wages, job insecurity, and finding it harder to make ends meet.
Instead of a real plan to turn around historically stagnant wage growth, all we’ve seen from this decade-old government is $16 billion in secret slush funds before the election and plans for secret cuts after it.
Australians cannot afford another wasted decade or risk another three years of attacks on wages, job security, superannuation and Medicare.
Labor has a plan to ensure our economy and society is stronger after COVID than before.
It’s not a real recovery if working families aren’t getting ahead.
WEDNESDAY, 2 MARCH 2022