STEVE PRICE: Senator Jane Hume joins us on the line. Your government were the ones that bought in the 22 cents a litre discount. It saved a lot of people through that grim period post COVID. I just don't understand Senator, how the ACCC can let these petrol retailers get away with doing what we're hearing this morning?
JANE HUME: While the ACCC have been charged with the task of making sure that there isn't any price gouging, and that's certainly something that my liberal senators and coalition senators and I will be asking of the ACCC when they appear at Senate Estimates in the next month after the budget. But when we put that fuel excise cut in, it was a temporary and it was a targeted measure, and it was supposed to help people with the cost of living relief at that time. Back then, fuel prices were around $3. But the problem now of course is that there are other cost of living pressures. You know, the grocery checkout, when you pay energy bills, you pay mortgages. The cost of living continues to skyrocket, and our real concern is that Labor just do not have an economic plan to tackle this crisis. So it's the number one issue facing Australians. That's why yesterday I moved a motion in the Senate to establish a cost of living committee that will allow the parliament to very carefully examine the pressures that are facing Australians and have a constructive inquiry into finding practical policy solutions with members of the government but also members right around the parliament participating.
STEVE PRICE: The first question in question time yesterday from Peter Dutton was along that lines to the Prime Minister about what your plan is, the answer was we're going to plan for lower childcare and he went through the normal election promises are you saying that because of the changing global financial situation, the promises that Labor made during the campaign, probably are not affordable, and they seem determined to go ahead with them, while ignoring the fact that price of cost of living pressures is the biggest issue right now.
JANE HUME: Well, that's exactly right. So many of the things that Labor promised in the election are of in the never never, that, you know, they won't actually apply until the middle of next year. More importantly, the more labor spend and they did go to the election promising to spend more that means that you know, the fiscal side of the of the budget is doing no work. It's you know, fat and lazy. That means that monetary policy has to do all the work. That's the RBA. They keep pushing up interest rates because the government is working in opposition with the RBA. So anybody that has a mortgage is gonna see their interest rates get higher and higher, if Labor cannot get their spending under control.
STEVE PRICE: The budget will be handed down in the next session. So that's later in October. Are you hearing or are you fearful that Labor might again start interfering with people's superannuation?
JANE HUME: That's the one thing that we've heard is that it's going to be a bread and butter budget and we know that when Labor's bread and butter is higher taxes and higher spending, now they haven't actually nailed a particular tax. They've said that they want to tackle multinationals but we know they're already tilling the soil, about superannuation taxes, about another crack at franking credits, around, tax on workers and potentially getting rid of those stage three tax cuts. That would mean that 95% of Australians would pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar. It's really important in a cost of living crisis that people can keep more of their own money
STEVE PRICE: Can I ask you about a personal thing and you've talked to the Sydney Morning Herald about this. You lost your father recently. And you had a view about voluntary assisted dying and you've now changed your view on that. How important was it to allow your dad to go the way he did?
JANE HUME: This was a really tough one, you know, in 2018 there was a bill brought to the Senate that would allow the ACT, the territories, and the Northern Territory to make their own laws on this and I voted against it at that stage. You know, Victoria had only just brought in it's own voluntary assisted dying laws but hadn't been enacted. So it really hadn't happened in Australia yet. And then two years after that, when my dad got really sick, he had lung cancer. He was told he only had a few months to live. He had always been adamant that he would depart this world on his own terms and he signed up to the voluntary assisted dying program and you know, I sat there with him when when he passed away. It was a really profound moment, moving moment in my life. But it was, I think I described it in my speech in the parliament yesterday as a beautiful death. And now that legislation has come back to the Parliament, yeah, I've very much changed my views. Not just because of dad you know, most states now have voluntary assisted dying laws in place. A lot of the scrutiny has been done. There's really no reason why people that live in the Northern Territory and live in the ACT shouldn't also be allowed to access those services. So yeah, I think that personal experience and it was very, very personal, has directed my vote, but it's conscience vote and I would never dream of directing my colleagues on which way they should vote.
STEVE PRICE: How hard was it to talk about that?
JANE HUME: I don't often blog in the chamber. I have to admit I've made a ton of stuff. But it was it was a difficult speech to give. But an important one because not many of my colleagues would have gone through something, you know, we say in our job that our responsibility is to try and walk a mile in another man's shoes and we make our decisions on that basis. Well, I had I had that pair of shoes, right in front of me in a way that not many others would. And I'm very glad that I did it. I've had an awful lot of messages of support. It was a difficult moment for me personally, but it's a it's a really important piece of legislation and I do think it will pass this time around.
STEVE PRICE: Your dad must have been very special.
JANE HUME: He was my, he was my liberal hero. And, you know, I did go back and look at a video of my maiden speech back in 2016 when they flashed to him in the gallery because that was the first moment that I thought you know, he's not well, he looks in pain. He looks stressed and anxious. And the next couple of years were really tough and it wasn't until 2019 that he was properly diagnosed. In 2020 when he died and in fact he died on the day that the Prime Minister announced there was only 10 people allowed at a funeral. And so we never really got a proper chance to farewell him, to grieve properly. So it was I suppose, fitting that two years later, once COVID has gone. We had a chance to have I had a chance to publicly express my love for him.
STEVE PRICE: And you did it extremely well. And I appreciate you very much talking about such a personal issue. Thanks very much, Senator.