Responding to the Coalition Government’s Budget handed down yesterday, the Member for Macarthur said that after almost a decade in office, it is nice to see that the Coalition finally recognises that the rising cost of living is a real issue.

“If the Coalition was serious about addressing the rising cost of living, they wouldn’t have been keeping wages deliberately low for years now,” Dr Mike Freelander said.

Dr Freelander criticised the Budget as a “political ploy to buy votes ahead of an election” while continuing to ignore projects in our community.

“If they truly cared about our future prosperity, they would fund the projects our community desperately needs such as a rail line to the airport, instead of pork-barrelling taxpayers’ money to sure up votes in marginal seats,” he said.

“Macarthur residents deserve a pay rise, and the rhetoric coming from the Coalition is insulting to local families who have been doing it tough.

Citing data obtained from the Parliamentary Library, Dr Freelander has said that the cost of living has soared under the Coalition.

From March 2013 to now:

  • the cost of electricity has gone up by 7.1%;
  • the cost of childcare has gone up by 49.5%;
  • the cost of housing has gone up by 19.2%;
  • the cost of medical and hospital care has gone up by 52.1%;
  • the cost of beef has gone up by 59.8%; and
  • the cost of fruit and veg has gone up by 20.9%.

With this Budget, it is clear that the Coalition Government is amassing one trillion dollars in debt, Dr Freelander said.