Families hit with cost of living rise again as the Premier sits on his massive budget windfalls

Feb 7, 2023 | State News, Steve Thomas MLC

The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas has repeated his call that the State Government should be doing more to help families with the rapidly rising cost of living given the latest 0.25% rise in official interest rates announced today. 

“Today’s 0.25% rise in the official interest rate has again highlighted the cost of living here in Western Australia, where the Government has a greater capacity than anywhere else in the country, perhaps the world, to minimise the impact” Dr Thomas said. 

“We saw eight consecutive monthly interest rate rises in 2022 and we have begun 2023 in the same manner.” 

“This has had a dramatic effect on people repaying loans in this state, and many homeowners are struggling” Dr Thomas said. 

“The State Government has a role to play in helping people cope with the massive increase in their daily costs, and it should immediately focus on how much it charges people for the services it provides.” 

“Given the massive budget surpluses the Government is getting, thanks mainly to iron ore royalties, they should be looking to minimise the imposts they themselves put on people in terms of fees and charges.” 

Iron ore prices have remained resiliently high, with today’s price still over US$120 a tonne. This has given the Government a massive boost in royalty income, and a prospective real budget surplus this financial year of over $4 billion when the Premier’s sneaky attempts to hide his revenue are properly accounted for. 

“The Premier has repeatedly rejected our calls to freeze government fees and charges, opting instead for untargeted cash handouts” Dr Thomas said. 

“If this is the only path he is willing to go down, he had better be looking at more in this year’s budget in three months.” 

“He is sitting on more than $20 billion in surpluses over five years, so he can well and truly afford to give some back to struggling households.”