Matter of Public Importance – Budget, 9 May 2023

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (18:14): In the words of Ronald Reagan: “When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation. Make no mistake about it, inflation is a tax and not by accident.”

Reagan was right. Inflation is bad, obviously. It is just like a slow leak in your fuel tank. You can still drive but you don’t get as far. Inflation increases the cost of living, that feeling of dread when you open your power bill —where’s my $275? You’re making decisions every day about what you’re forced to go without. Maintaining a roof over your head costs more. Rents are up. Mortgage repayments are up. Your wallet is empty. Every week you go to the supermarket, you have less in your basket for the same amount of money. Your children know something’s up because all of a sudden you’re saying no a lot more.

So who drilled the hole in your fuel tank? Was it (a) the Reserve Bank; was it (b) the government; or was it (c) both? Well, I’ll answer that question for you: it was both. The answer to our inflation woes is for the government to stop wasting money. Low debt is a policy for our youth. Today’s public debt is our children’s problem tomorrow, and I believe in protecting children.