CPI rise hidden by electricity cash splash

Oct 27, 2022 | State News, Steve Thomas MLC

The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas has welcomed ABS figures showing that Perth CPI declined slightly in Perth over the last quarter, but says that it is too soon for either the Government or the community to start celebrating.

“The drop in the Perth CPI by 0.5% in the September quarter came about because of the Government’s $400 Household Electricity Credit announced in the May budget” Dr Thomas said.

“As this money rolled out in July, August and September it pushed the inflation figure down.”

“This artificial reduction has now been quantified by the Treasurer in Parliament, with Mr McGowan confirming that the quarter-on-quarter Perth CPI would actually have risen by 1.7% in September rather than dropping.”

“This number would still have been the lowest of any capital city, but only just. The second lowest was Brisbane with a rise of 1.8%.”

Dr Thomas said that the yearly CPI rise figure was also impacted by the cash handouts for electricity.

“Perth also had the lowest rise from the 2021 quarter to the 2022 one at 6%, but this is also artificially low thanks to the Government’s $400 Household Electricity Credit” Dr Thomas said.

“If you factor in a 1.7% CPI rise in Perth instead of a 0.5% decline in the September quarter the annual rise would have been 8.4%.”

“That number would have seen us at equal second highest in terms of annual inflation.”

Dr Thomas said that the important message was that inflation was still a critical issue in Western Australia, and everyone reading the CPI figures should not be complacent.

“The impacts of inflation in Western Australia are still hurting people, families and communities” Dr Thomas said.

“Neither the State nor Federal Government should assume the current figure will bring relief to struggling WA families, and they still need to focus on reining in rampant inflation and supporting those who need it most.”