Since being elected Prime Minister just over 18 months ago, Labor leader Anthony Albanese has tried hard to make a virtue of his visits to WA.
Despite WA’s sweltering summers, when he touches down for his first visit in 2024, he should come prepared for a frosty reception.
Having had a bitter taste of Labor, WA voters will now be looking for a “please explain” for his broken promises.
Above all else, West Australians will want to know why Anthony Albanese and Labor have failed on their pre-election pledge to change Australia “for the better” by delivering cost-of-living relief, cheaper housing and mortgages, and wages growth.
Far from making things better, WA families are ending 2023 in more financial pain than a year ago.
Since Anthony Albanese made his pledge in Perth in May 2022, interest rates have risen on 12 occasions and are now higher than they have been for more than a decade.
For WA families with an average mortgage of $493,000, that means having to find $3434 a month, or $41,208 a year, to meet their mortgage repayments.
The monthly challenge of meeting these rising mortgage costs has been made even more difficult because of Labor’s failure to tackle inflation.
Just this month the Western Australian Council of Social Service identified the “harsh realities” and “skyrocketing living costs” being experienced by families in its 2023 Cost of Living Report.
The report found costs for a single-parent family had increased by $67.20 a week and exceeded basic living costs by just $1.40, making it more difficult for families to save or meet unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a washing machine or fridge.
Two-parent families were now having to find an extra $84.94 a week, and age-pensioner incomes fell short of basic living costs with many experiencing a “substantial decline” in their financial wellbeing.
Many WA families say they are now turning to the generosity of local charities for the first time to help make ends meet.
Tragically, this cost-of-living stress is forcing some to take drastic steps.
Fresh data has revealed shoplifting rates are the highest on record — in WA there were 7733 offences from July to September this year, an increase of 2306, or 42 per cent over the same period last year.
Labor has also failed WA first-homebuyers.
Data released by CoreLogic show that since January this year the median house price in Perth has surged by 11.1 per cent to $669,609, with further increases of up to 10 per cent predicted in 2024.
The combination of rising interest rates and property prices is now putting first-home ownership beyond the reach of many young West Australians.
And Labor has no good news for WA renters.
Over the 12 months to September, Perth rents increased by almost 20 per cent and are expected to rise further in 2024, according to the Real Estate Institute of WA.
For WA’s first-homebuyers and renters, the problem is exacerbated by Labor’s failure to properly plan and model a population policy that will benefit WA at a time when our population is growing faster than anywhere in Australia.
And while costs have risen, the outlook for wages is bleak.
The Reserve Bank of Australia recently updated estimates for wages growth to reveal that by December 2024, real wages will be 5.4 per cent lower than they were three years ago.
Labor’s failure to tackle rising costs, coupled with sluggish wages growth, means Anthony Albanese’s economic leadership has made West Australians poorer.
In May 2022, West Australians put their trust in Anthony Albanese’s pledge that life would be better for WA families under Labor.
With a Federal election due after August, now is the time for WA voters to ask themselves how long they’ll be willing to pay the price of Labor’s cost-of-living crisis.