A lot of people are very, very angry at Albo.

The stories of hardship are piling up. 

'With tears in her eyes, Nichole lays bare the housing struggle her family faces,' reads the ABC homepage this morning.

'Many Queensland families unable to afford basic cost of living,' reports The Guardian.

'Canberra has highest cost of living in nation,' says The Canberra Times.

'How the cost of living crisis has affected Australia's New Year's resolutions for 2024,' writes SBS.

Right now everything costs more; groceries, fuel, rent, mortgages, power bills. We're in a cost-of-living crisis, and as prices increase, most Australian's wages remain stagnant. It's getting dire, and everyone's pretty pissed off about it.

Naturally, we want someone to blame and the person in charge of the country is an obvious place to start. 

Over the weekend at the men's Australian Open final, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese settled in for a night of tennis at Rod Laver Arena. After the play was over and trophies were being awarded, the master of ceremonies gave him a mention. He was immediately booed. So much so, the ceremony had to pause for a brief moment while the audience got it out of their system. 

Watch the reaction below:

Video via Nine

The following day, Albanese fobbed it off. 

"It's a bit of tradition in Australian sport, isn't it?" he told Fox FM.

"I think it's a well-worn Australian tradition at sporting events for that to happen, and I don't think we should read too much into it," he said.

Sure, it is a tradition. But the boos are also a reflection of the growing disdain Aussies are feeling towards a Labor government that some feel isn't doing enough to help them stay afloat, and others feel is breaking promises. 

It became obvious just how much the Albanese government's popularity had slumped late last year, with multiple popularity polls showing Labor's approval ratings were at their lowest levels since the election. 

In January - no doubt hoping to kick off the year with a bang - Albanese called an emergency caucus meeting to discuss cost-of-living fixes to help solve some of the growing problems. As a result, he announced revisions to the planned stage three tax cuts last week to come into effect on July 1. (They were originally announced by Scott Morrison in the 2018 budget). 

Basically, the changes will benefit those earning under $150,000 and mean a smaller cut for those earning above that.

He claims that the decision is "good for middle Australia, good for women, good for helping with cost-of-living pressures, good for labour supply and good for the economy," and will mean the average Aussie will receive a tax cut of more than $1500 a year.

It sounds great - for some. But that money has to come from somewhere, and it'll be coming from the pockets of higher earners. 


So now he's pissed them off, because in making that change he's broken a promise that he reiterated only a few weeks ago that, "my word is my bond" and "the final stage of the Coalition government’s tax cuts would not be altered". 

In trying to do the right thing for those doing it toughest, he's shown himself to be untrustworthy.

"Australians can trust me to be prepared to make difficult decisions, not the easy decisions," he told 4RO in response to the backlash.

"I think Australians will also be asking, what’s the next broken promise?" retorted Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. 

Albanese has found himself a bit stuck. The new tax cut will not pull people out of debt and pay off their mortgages - it'll simply relieve a little pressure. A bandaid if you will for a much bigger problem. So it might appease some, for a while, but what's next? What else are you doing to stem the crazy prices we're all being forced to endure?

And then on the other hand, in making the 'promise breaking announcement' he's found himself staring at a whole new cohort of disgruntled constituents. 

Anger is rising, not quelling. But he had to start somewhere. He had to do something to prove he was at least trying to help. Is that something enough? Time will tell. 

He's certainly got his work cut out for him if he wants to hold on to the top job. 

Feature image: AAP/Scott Radford-Chisholm.

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