3.7 million Australian households are going hungry or on the edge of falling into hunger. We are bombarded by statistic after statistic, but this one from Foodbank Australia’s 2023 Hunger Report hits like a truck.
Just weeks away from Christmas, 77 per cent of Australian households experiencing food insecurity are doing so for the first time and 60 per cent of those in this dire situation are employed.
Shockingly in 2023, like in the 1920s, breadlines are appearing in our cities.
Australia under Albanese is looking less like the Lucky Country and more like the Hungry Country.
This is a far cry from what Anthony Albanese promised Australians: “No one left behind because we should always look after the disadvantaged and the vulnerable…That is what my government will do.”
Instead, over 500 days into the Albanese Labor Government, the Prime Minister’s core promises are missing in action. Like a bowtie gathering dust in a cloak room from one of his fancy dinners, ‘no one left behind’ has been forgotten.
For millions of Australians the pain will sadly get worse.
With the Prime Minister off overseas once again, Australians are staring down the barrel of another rise in the cash rate with the worst fear of many families confirmed by the assessments of all big four banks.
Days ago when I visited food charity OzHarvest I was told they see an immediate spike in demand for food every time the interest rate goes up.
The big four banks and the IMF agree rates will need to go up again and may have to be raised more than once.
Another rate rise will hit hard just as families try to make the sums add up for Christmas presents or that special family gathering.
It is now widely accepted by economists that Australia’s inflation challenge is homegrown and that is why rates will have to go up again. Indeed, once you dive into the data, you see the reason we have to have another rate rise is squarely as a result of the decisions Labor have made.
Labor missed their opportunity to kill inflation so now Australian households will take the hit.
It isn’t just mortgages that are biting. Under Albanese, Australians are being hammered on every front. Food is up 8 per cent, housing up 10 per cent, insurance up 17 per cent, electricity up 18 per cent and gas up 28 per cent.
From rents to retail, inflation is due to Labor’s reckless decision to bring in hundreds of thousands of migrants without a plan to house them. The services you need cost more today because of rises in electricity, rents and labour costs — all things Labor has driven up without a plan to pay for it.
But it will get worse.
Almost daily the organisations that drive Australia’s prosperity are under attack by this new government. A year on from conning small business groups, miners, farmers and builders to attend the Jobs and Skills Summit, Labor is at war with all of them. So it’s no surprise prices are surging.
From the cost of building your first home to your morning coffee, from the food at the supermarket and even your Uber, Labor are fixated on driving up prices exactly when we need them to do the opposite.
But the gap between expectations and delivery is not only clear in the cost of living crisis smashing Australians today.
It took President Biden and ASIO Director General Mike Burgess to remind Australians of the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party when Anthony Albanese failed to do so.
The same Anthony Albanese who used to talk tough on Chinese ownership of the Port of Darwin instead opted for the status quo. He reassures that his rapprochement with China is just about business, but his officials told the diaspora community in Australia that his visit to Beijing is “purely political”. Silence on the issues that matter to Australians should never be the price of a ticket to Bejing.
As the Middle East teeters on the brink of regional conflict Labor’s Cabinet is riven by open division on foreign policy.
With a war in the Middle East, a war in Europe and collisions in the South China Sea, the alarm is also being sounded by national security experts about how Labor is running Defence.
The widely respected Alan Dupont said this week “an unwillingness to back its sober rhetoric with real money is undermining the (Labor) government’s national security credentials at home and abroad. It now threatens to hollow out a defence force struggling to do more with less.” Labor’s failure to back up its tough talking on defence has been noted by those in the know and criticism from defence experts will only increase.
This comes as new asylum seekers, who arrived by boat, are being put into Nauru with the first child going into detention since Labor was last in government.
Labor are proving an Australian political truism, they are economic and national security failures.
Deep down they know it themselves, so it is no wonder the Prime Minister’s office is doctoring his transcripts.
If you are bewildered about how we got here, remember what the Prime Minister’s sole focus of his first 500 days was: the Voice.
Anthony Albanese took the Voice referendum from 61/39 majority support to the bottom of a cliff, 61/39 against. In doing so he killed constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians for at least a generation.
The Voice has now been consigned to the referendum-that-must-not-be-named status by Labor in the hope Australians will have a bout of collective amnesia. That hope evidently extends to the indigenous Australians who had their hopes raised, then crushed by Albanese’s arrogance.
Australia under Albanese is poorer, weaker, less safe and more divided.
And worst of all — Anthony Albanese is just getting started.