politics

Tax cuts, childcare and Medicare: Here's where the major parties stand on cost-of-living.

To keep up to date with the federal election campaign as we head to the polls to vote on May 21, visit our  election hub page. There you'll find analysis, explainers and all the results of our Mamamia Votes survey. 

The cost of living is a key talking point as we edge closer and closer to the federal election. 

The pandemic and impact of the war in Ukraine has seen the cost-of-living surge over the past year, and Aussies are feeling it at the checkouts and the petrol pumps.    

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced Australia's annual inflation rate has soared to 5.1 per cent from 3.5 per cent, the highest level since 2001.

So it's no wonder it's one of the top five key election issues for women. 

According to our recent Mamamia Votes survey, 50.6 percent of the 5000 people surveyed said it was an issue deciding how they will vote in the polls.  

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To help tackle the rising cost of living, more than six million Australians, including pensioners, carers, veterans, and job seekers will receive a one-off $250 payment from today, as part of package announced in the federal budget. 

But what else is the government doing to address the issue should they win on May 21, and where do the other parties stand?

As we head to the polls, here's where a quick rundown of the major parties' policies. 

The Coalition.

The cost of living was a key issue addressed in the government's federal budget handed down in March. 

"Our new cost of living measures in the recent budget are responsible and targeted, delivering cheaper fuel and cheaper medicines and putting more money in the pockets of millions of Australians," they say on their party website.

Here's a look at what the Coalition is promising: 

  • The Coalition will cut fuel excise in half for the next six months, which will save Aussies 22 cents a litre every time they fill up.
  • They are providing a one-off $250 cost of living payment for more than six million Aussies and a one-off $420 cost of living tax offset for more than 10 million low-and-middle income earners.
  • More than 12 million taxpayers will receive additional tax relief of up to $2,565 for individuals or $5,130 for couples in 2022-23. 
  • When it comes to the cost of childcare, the Coalition have increased the Subsidy by 30 percent for second and subsequent children in a family aged five or under and have removed the annual Subsidy cap of $10,655 for families earning over $190,015 so that no family has an annual cap on their subsidies.
  • In 2021-22 the government will spend $30.9 billion in total Medicare benefits. 
  • As part of this year's budget, the government is more than doubling the Home Guarantee Scheme to 50,000 places.

Labor. 

The cost of living was also a focus in Labor's budget reply.

"The truth is if you want real, permanent, meaningful help with the cost of living, you need a plan to get wages growing again. And you need a Labor Government to do it," Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said at the time.

Here's what the Labor party are promising: 

  • Tax relief for more than nine million Aussies through tax cuts that benefit everyone with incomes above $45,000. They will also increase the low-and-middle income tax offset by $420 this year.
  • Labor say they will take job insecurity and low wages 'head on'.
  • When it comes to health, Labor will spend $135 million to deliver at least 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics which will take pressure off our emergency departments. They have also promised better care for children with hearing loss and Medicare support for regional patients.
  • Access to 'Fee Free TAFE' by offering 465,000 fee-free TAFE places for Aussie students studying in industries with a skills shortage, including 45,000 new places. They will also deliver up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022 and 2023.
  • They will invest approximately $5.4 billion to make child care cheaper from July 2023.
  • A $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund which will build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties within five years and create thousands of jobs. 

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The Greens.

The Greens plan to tackle the cost of living by making essential services free and increasing wages.

"We’ll provide the services everyone needs to live a better life. And we’ll tax billionaires and corporations to pay for it," they say on their party website. 

This election, the Greens are fighting to hold a balance of power in the government which will allow them to have a greater say on what we do as a nation.

Here's a look at what they're promising: 

  • The Greens want to make dental and mental health free under Medicare.
  • They want to abolish student debts and make education free from school to TAFE and university. 
  • They plan to build one million public and community homes, affordable homes and establish a national standards for renters rights, including capping rent increases, stopping ‘no-grounds’ evictions, and introducing accessibility, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability standards.
  • They will invest $19 billion over the next four years to ensure early childhood education and care is free and accessible for everyone.
  • Establish a minimum living wage at 60 percent of the median wage to make sure no one earns below the poverty line. 
  • Raise all income support payments to $88 a day, including the JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Age Pension, Carer’s Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farmhouse Allowance, ABSTUDY, AUSTUDY, Youth Allowance, and Crisis Payments. 
  • Lower the age pension back to 65 and raise the rate.

Here's more election coverage: 

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia. 

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