How I’m fighting the cost-of-living crisis 

How I’m fighting the cost-of-living crisis 
Adam Bandt

Many people across Melbourne are doing it tough.

We’re in a cost-of-living crisis and inequality is at a record high. My team and I have heard from countless members of our community who are worried about how they’ll pay the rent, their medical bills or childcare costs as everything gets more expensive and wages and incomes flatline. 

This week, I’m attending the government’s Jobs and Skills Summit, to push Labor to deliver an immediate rise in the minimum wage to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

With the Greens in balance of power in the Senate, we’ve made it loud and clear to Labor that we’ll push to change the law to guarantee faster wage rises, especially for those in the care economy. 

Our plan includes lifting the minimum wage to 60 per cent of the full time adult median wage, with a faster move to lift wages in women-dominated care industries. 

Lifting wages is not out of reach. Rather than investing in the things that will make everyone’s lives better, Labor is spending $244 billion on unfair tax cuts to billionaires and handouts for big corporations.

Their plan will make inequality worse, make the cost-of-living crisis worse and dismantle Australia’s progressive tax system.

Instead of investing in unfair tax cuts, the government should be funding free childcare, getting dental into Medicare for everyone and building more affordable housing.

Steps like this, alongside a lift to wages and income support, would fight inequality and make sure everyone has what they need to live a good life. 

In Parliament, I represent more renters than almost any other MP. With rental costs rising, renters are struggling to meet the soaring costs of living, with many in insecure and casual work.

That’s why the Greens are calling on the National Cabinet to introduce a two-year rent freeze and ongoing rent caps, allowing wages and incomes time to catch up to rents.

During the worst of the pandemic, Victoria froze rents to support tenants, now we need the Federal government to do the same nationally. 

It’s time to legislate protections for renters, so people are protected against unfair, arbitrary evictions and skyrocketing rents. If the government is serious about cost-of-living relief, if they’re serious about affordable housing, then it’s a no-brainer to freeze rents.  

With a new government, we have enormous opportunities to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. My team and I will be working hard, in Parliament and in the community, to deliver the transformative reforms we need to make sure no-one is left behind, starting with a lift in wages, stopping the unfair tax cuts and ending out-of-control rent rises. •

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