Western Sydney hit hard by Labor's cost of living crisis
Joint media release with
Senator the Hon Marise Payne
Shadow Cabinet Secretary
Senator for New South Wales
22 April 2023
The Senate Cost of Living Committee heard valuable evidence on Friday about how individuals and businesses in Western Sydney are coping with Labor’s cost of living crisis.
The Committee heard that the average family with a mortgage will have to find an additional $12,000 every year to cover their mortgage increases when the current rate rise cycle flows through to repayments.
Representatives from the business community said the cost of living crisis is not only hitting Australians households, but small businesses are also facing a cost of doing business crisis. Labor’s failure to bring power prices down has propelled this cost of doing business crisis, with power prices being the number one cause of concern for businesses.
The Committee also heard that Australians with self managed super funds would disproportionately suffer from Labor’s new doubling of super taxes. The SMSF Association gave evidence that Australians with self managed super funds may have to liquidate their assets to pay a tax bill under Labor’s proposal to tax unrealised capital gains. The Committee was told that because the proposed tax threshold was not indexed, it would likely capture more and more Australian superannuants, adding another new tax for Australians trying to save for their retirement.
In the first ‘open mic’ session of the inquiry, the Committee received evidence directly from representatives from local community groups and individuals.
A representative of a community cafe said that her organisation was now servicing 200 people a day for items like food parcels or clothing due to the cost of living crisis.
The head of a local food charity said they were receiving small donations of food because shops were ordering less in response to subdued sales - caused by increasing prices. That made it harder to feed more people coming to her charity for help.
Senator Hume said the evidence provided to the Committee was helpful in understanding how small businesses and individuals were experiencing the cost of living crisis and the cost of doing business crisis.
“We know the cost of living crisis is hitting Australian households hard through higher prices and higher energy bills, and now we’ve heard that these pressures are equally as taxing on our small and medium sized businesses. It’s not just a cost of living crisis, it’s a cost of doing business crisis too,” Senator Hume said.
“These cost of living pressures are felt differently across demographics and in different locations, that’s why we’re making an effort to hear from as many ordinary Australians as we can through our online survey and our open mic sessions.
“It is clear Australians are crying out for a plan from their government to tackle this crisis, but Labor have put up the white flag. This committee will do what Labor won’t and provide sensible solutions to the cost of living crisis that can be implemented right now.” Senator Hume said.
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said it was clear that Labor’s cost of living crisis was being acutely felt throughout the community.
“Western Sydney is the epicentre of the cost of living crisis, and rising expenses are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. In October, the Government delivered a traditional big-spending Labor budget that only promised more deficits. If Labor repeats this in their second budget in just a few weeks’ time, it will only make inflation even worse.”
“Now more than ever, the Government needs a plan to help families and small businesses deal with immediate cost of living pressures, in Western Sydney and across Australia,” Senator Payne said.