As I travel around my electorate, I must say that people don’t often want to unload their problems. People want to catch up, and they want to chat about their kids, work, family and life. But, inevitably, when you ask them how things are going, they emphasise how tough it is at the moment under this Labor government, and the hard things they are facing when they’re around their kitchen table trying to just make ends meet.

The data we see at an economic level that we speak about in this parliament confirms, quite frankly, what I’m seeing as I’m out and about in my electorate or, indeed, throughout the country, and that’s that people have, in their experience, never done it tougher. In their lives, they have never found life more difficult, and I think that’s explained by the fact that we know—it’s an undisputed fact, not a number that the government can refute—that real disposable incomes are down by 7½ per cent under this government. So people who were already doing it tough when the Labor Party came to government are now 7½ per cent worse off.

We’re in a recession; let’s be frank. We call it ‘per capita recession’. But, if you’re a household, your income’s gone backwards. To put it crudely, every single Australian on average is poorer after nearly two years of the Labor government than when they were elected. They’re poorer. They have less money to go around at the end of every week. If you’ve got an average mortgage in this country, you’re spending $24,000 a year more just servicing the interest on that mortgage.

If you go to the supermarket, as we all do, food’s up by nearly nine per cent. Electricity’s up by 20 per cent and gas is up by 27 per cent. Those two figures are damning for the government, because you’ve got a 20 per cent increase in electricity and 27 per cent increase in gas when they all went to the election promising cheaper energy—by $275 a year. Indeed, they went to the election promising cheaper mortgages. Again, $24,000 a year more on your average mortgage is another broken promise from this government. In addition to having conversations around the electorate, I receive emails from those in my electorate. John from Croydon wrote to me recently and said that his latest gas bill cost him over $600. Narelle from Ringwood East said that it cost her over $200 to fill up her car—one tank of petrol. This is all occurring with a Prime Minister who promised that life would be easier under him. He has just provided more misery, and Australians are poorer as a result of this Labor government.

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