Cost of living soars under Labor

The affordability of essential goods and services is worsening under the Andrews Government after a raft of increased taxes and charges came into effect on 1 July 2023 in Victoria.

Analysis by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) analysis revealed the full impact of the Andrews Government’s new Rent Tax and COVID Debt Levy, which will drive a spike in total land tax revenue per person from $783 in 2022-23 to $1,051 in 2023-24 – an increase of more than 34 per cent in just 12 months.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said many Victorian households are experiencing severe financial pain with expenses such as rent, council rates, power bills, groceries, public transport, and car registration all increasing.

“So many Victorians are struggling – bill stress is impacting the young, middle age and the old.

“The Andrews Government’s financial mismanagement, tax regime and poor policy framework continues to hurt, and there’s no slowdown in sight.

“Rents in Victoria continue to soar in line with higher property taxes and increase regulatory red tape on landlords – Victorians now pay the highest property taxes in the nation.

“Rent affordability is a serious issue and increased property taxes means landlords will be forced to raise rents or sell their properties, compounding Victoria’s rental crisis.

“Under Labor, residents in Eastern Victoria region will pay a total of $2,120 in property taxes per person across 2023-24, compared to $1,646 in New South Wales and $1,343 in Queensland.

“Meanwhile all homeowners will see their Council rates increase by up to 3.5 per cent.”

St Vincent de Paul reported in February that homes in the Gippsland will be hit the worst where the combined energy bills will hit $4095 this year, up $995.

Ms Bath said it was rare for a day to go by without her office fielding a call from a constituent suffering financial stress from rising cost of living pressures.

“The cost of food at the supermarket has inflated to record levels with families spending $1565 on average more on groceries this year than last,” said Ms Bath.

“Power has risen by 25 per cent this financial year as the new increased default offer prices from the Australian Energy Regulator came into effect.

“The cost of power to Victorian households is expected to go up $392 on average, while for small businesses it’s $752 – meanwhile the average gas bill will soar by 45 per cent.

“Victoria desperately needs sensible energy policy and reliable infrastructure to make power affordable.

“Daniel Andrews decision to lock up Victorian gas reserves and prematurely shut down coal power generation without transitional infrastructure is punishing households and businesses.

“With taxes and charges continuing to soar, life under Labor in Victoria is not affordable for so many and there’s no relief in sight,” Ms Bath said.