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What does the cost of living crisis really look like?

On the 20th of June I gave a speech sharing the experiences' of locals who have got in touch with my office about their struggles with the cost of living crisis. 


The lobbyists for the big banks and gas corporations have open access to every politician in here, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to share some of their experiences from local residents and people getting in touch with my office about the cost of living crisis. 

A woman sent me a message recently: “As a single working Mum that left all I had to escape DV, now trying to raise a child whilst renting, life seems terribly hard and with little hope. I am working so hard but barely getting by. I have no financial buffer. For anything. It’s so scary as a parent and keeps me awake every night.” 

Last night a guy reached out to tell me about how his disabled mum couldn’t secure a rental because of the abysmally low pension, and ridiculously high rents near her care. She died on the waiting list for public housing.

Another woman sent me an email last week: “I am scared to have another rent increase. My children and I will have to move even if my rent goes up by $50. It’s a horrible feeling.”

And as another local resident rightfully points out: “It’s not just the rent increases, our mortgage has gone up an extra $450 a month! That “extra” money used to be used on bills & my kids. Not anymore.”

For another constituent, after they pay their rent each week, they are left with only $50 to spare. $50 to spend on food, bills, and literally anything else they need. They reflected how the weight of this drags them down every day, and the rising sense of panic they wake with each morning thinking about how they’ll make ends meet that day. 

For another, with the most recent interest rate rise they are now paying $600 extra per fortnight since their first rate rise. They have started applying to find a third job so that they can afford enough food, which they’ve been sacrificing. They feel that they will never never be able to have a family of their own. 

A young guy shared with us: “My 70+ nan had to leave her home after 10+ years only months after grandpa passed away because of a $120 a week increase on her rent. It's awful.”

A few weeks ago a local couple in Holland Park sent me an email that has really stuck with me. In it they say, “We felt really proud of what we have achieved together, we saved so hard to get a house deposit and looked forward to our future. Today, we are really struggling. Our once responsible savings nest egg has been completely absorbed by the cost of living pressures and we now live pay cheque to pay cheque.”

Meanwhile the big banks have recorded a record $17 billion profit. While the federal budget found $12 billion in tax concessions for property investors and not a single extra cent for housing. It took a huge campaign just to force Labor to cough up $2 billion for housing. 

The government may like to pretend there’s nothing they can do. 

But it just isn’t true. The Federal Government could coordinate a freeze on rent increases. It could use its existing powers to stop further interest rate increases. It could tax the big banks and corporations to give everyone what they need to live a good life. 

We’re a wealthy country. And the experiences of these people should be considered unacceptable when we collectively have so much wealth. 



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