National News

What Albanese’s government will cost you

Anthony Albanese is officially Australia's next Prime Minister, but he is not strolling into an economic landscape that is particularly welcoming.

Inflation is soaring at decade-long highs, and Australians are struggling under the weight of a rising cost of living. Unemployment is at a modern all-time low, but wages are flat and struggling to keep up with ticket prices.

A huge proportion of Australians under 40 now believe they'll never be able to purchase a property. Others are struggling to secure a rental property while working an ordinary job.

Saturday night's change in government promised to ease the pressure currently on Australian household budgets – but don't expect to find riches overnight.

READ MORE: Albanese's 'must-do or we are stuffed' list

INFLATION STILL HERE TO STAY

A change in government does not immediately alter the economic conditions that lead to inflation.

Recent modelling by the Reserve Bank of Australia shows that economists expect the cost of living to keep rising above wages until 2024.

The RBA will raise interest rates regardless of who is in government. 

Cost of living policies announced by Anthony Albanese will help around the edges on specific items, but won't be enough to address the multitude of variables that are increasing demand and restricting supply.

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CHEAPER CHILDCARE

Families who have at least one child in childcare are likely to see their fees reduced under the new Albanese government.

Labor claims that 96 per cent of families will benefit from the new policy, which proposes a lift in the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent, and increasing the child care subsidy rates for every family with one child in care.

Let's put it in real terms: Currently a family with a household income of $120,000 is receiving 68 per cent of their childcare fees off. Under Albanese that will increase to 82 per cent.

If childcare fees prior to the subsidy were $300 a week, that represents a saving of around $40 a week.

READ MORE: Albanese to be sworn in as Prime Minister ahead of first overseas trip

The peak body for childcare in NSW has called for an urgent government inquiry into the soaring costs of childcare.

PETROL IS STILL GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE

In the 2022 Federal Budget, the Morrison government committed to slashing the fuel excise by half – effectively making every litre of fuel 22 cents cheaper.

But that halving will only last six months until September, and already fuel prices have swallowed that tax cut to reach back to budget-busting highs of $2 a litre.

The Albanese government committed to the six-month schedule, which means petrol is going to get more expensive after September 28.

It's important to remember that more expensive petrol does not just affect Aussies driving to work.

High fuel costs translate to higher grocery costs (trucks have to deliver produce), higher retail costs, higher plane airfares and so on and so forth.

LIVE RESULTS: How your electorate is voting this election

TAX CUTS TO REMAIN

Remember the Morrison government announcing more tax cuts for low and middle income earners? That will stay under the Albanese government, so your tax return will not be affected.

You can read an explainer on how these so-called "lamington" tax cuts work here.

CHEAPER MEDICINES, DOCTOR VISITS

During the election campaign Labor committed to cutting the cost of medications by reducing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment from the current maximum of $42.50 per script to $30 per script.

That means millions of Australians will save up to $12.50 per script.

The party has also committed to setting up at at least 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to provide for patients who need medical attention but don't need to attend a hospital emergency room.

These care clinics will bulk-bill so patients will not be out of pocket.

FULL COVERAGE: Federal Election 2022

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia said the AMA should not be worried about pharmacists 'treating on their turf'. (AAP)

DON'T EXPECT HOUSE PRICES TO PLUMMET

House prices have absolutely boomed under the Morrison government – but it wasn't necessarily government policy that fuelled the price rise.

House prices are tipped to fall as interest rates rise, but don't expect to be snagging bargains on the property market simply because Albanese is now the Prime Minister.

Fundamentally housing policies from both parties only scratched the surface of Australia's housing affordability crisis, which is seeing a widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots.

Labor's "Help to Buy" scheme will help 10,000 home buyers to enter the market with a minimum deposit of two per cent, with an equity contribution from the government of up to 40 per cent.

Economists have said that improved access to the market by homebuyers will likely only push up house prices.

"Home ownership is likely to be in focus, but the ALP's proposed Shared Equity Scheme is set to be capped at 10,000 places per annum, so unless that is changed or there are widespread first homeowner grants rolled out across the country that alone won't be a market mover," says BuyersBuyers co-founder Pete Wargent.

"Housing market demand is more likely to be driven by employment and wage growth. Employment and job vacancies are both at record highs, so there's a genuine prospect that the unemployment rate can fall towards 3 per cent over the year ahead."

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