John Howard & Peter Costello’s economic credentials are in tatters with a lift in inflation leaving working families struggling to cover the rising cost of housing, health, education and food says the ACTU.
The Consumer Price Index figures released today show there have been big rises over the year in the cost of housing (4.2%), health (4.3%) and education (4.1%) and a big increase in food prices in the last quarter with fruit rising nearly 10%.
The figures also reveal that the Howard Government’s Fair Pay Commission underestimated the level of inflation, predicting 1.6%, when today’s data shows the actual figure was higher — leaving more than a million award workers worse off in real terms.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:
“John Howard and Peter Costello can no longer say they are good at managing the economy when the living standards of working Australians are falling in real terms.
“Today’s lift in inflation confirms that the measly pay rise of up to $10 a week that the Howard Govt’s Fair Pay Commission gave award wage workers at the start of this month (1 October 2007) was not enough to cover the cost of living.
“It shows that under Work Choices the incomes of more than a million working families are not keeping pace with inflation and that their living standards will fall further if the Liberals are re-elected and they go further with Work Choices.
“The prospect of another interest rate rise later this year is also very worrying for working families already struggling to keep their heads above water,” said Ms Burrow.