Page 3603 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 24 November 2021

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I note that the Canberra Liberals, of course, have signed up to many of these commitments, or at least they say they have and then decide for the purpose of trying to score a cheap political point at one point in the price cycle or the regulatory cycle that this somehow constitutes a breach of an election commitment.

I also draw Ms Lawder’s attention to the fact that this government is subsidising the interest on a loan scheme to support households to lower their cost of living, a policy that you guys opposed in the election because you are opposed to that transition. You are opposed to effective action on climate change and you are opposed to supporting households to make the change to reduce their cost of living. (Time expired.)

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, what modelling have you done to assess households’ capacity to pay for the increasing cost of living in the ACT, including your escalating rates, fees and charges, and what factor for wage growth and inflation have you allowed for in that modelling?

MR BARR: The cost of living analysis is undertaken and published in the budget each year. Wage price index and inflation projections are contained within the budget papers. The Reserve Bank has outlined that it is targeting for monetary policy between two and three 3 per cent for inflation. It is still sitting below that once you take out the extraordinary impact, for example, of child care becoming free in one quarter and then the fees going back on in another, which has distorted the figures Ms Lawder has deemed to bring into this debate in either a perverse or malicious way to attempt to make her political point. But a deeper analysis of underlying inflation would see that it is going to land between 2 and 3 per cent, which is where the Reserve Bank is mandated to seek to maintain it.

And for the Liberal Party to be complaining about wages is amongst the most outrageous of claims, because it is your party that has presided over nearly a decade of stagnant wages, of real wages going backwards, attacking penalty rates, seeking to reduce the incomes of the most vulnerable in this community because they do not have secure work. It is your party’s policy position—stated by Mathias Cormann, former Liberal finance minister—to suppress wages and to suppress wage growth. That is why we are in the position we are in, because wages have not been growing in real terms. But fortunately in the ACT, as I outlined yesterday, GST has been growing per capita. (Time expired).

MRS KIKKERT: Chief Minister, why should Canberra families trust anything you say when key election promises have already been broken in the first year of this term?

MR BARR: Again, the irony of questions from the Liberal Party on matters of trust in light of everything that is going on in this nation! You can definitely trust this government to deliver on the commitments that we have taken to the people of Canberra because we are delivering them. I will contrast our approach and my approach on matters of trust with the Liberal Party locally and the Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party nationally.

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