Topics; cost of living, proposed end to mandatory (COVID) isolation, vaccinations

We’re joined now by Education Minister Jason Clare who is in Sydney and Deputy Liberal Leader Sussan Ley, who’s in Albury. Welcome to you both. And Jason, you’re very much showing your colours this morning. Good to see you.

Listen, inflation is expected to go up even higher. Are you actually concerned how those on low wages in particular are going to be able to afford to put food on the table?

You bet, as inflation goes up and the cost of living goes up it’s harder and harder for Australians to do that. I guess we’ve got three related problems one, inflation is going up, two interest rates are going up so it makes it harder to pay the mortgage. And three, you’ve got extra problems that are created there as well in terms of the cost of living. We’ve got to get inflation under control. That’s what the Reserve Bank is doing right now by putting up interest rates but that means that things get tougher before they get better.

We’ve also got to get the Budget in better shape as well. The Budget is in worse shape than most state government budgets. And we’ll hand down a new budget in a couple of weeks’ time that’s designed to fund the election promises we’ve made that are about helping people with things like the cost of living, but also, in addition to that, making sure that we get rid of the waste and the rorts that we saw in the form of budget from the former government.

Sussan, what does the Government need to do in this Budget? How can it help?

Mon, these figures confirm what we’ve known for some time, which is the costs are going up, up and up. And where is the Labor Party’s plan for what to do about this before Christmas?

Inflation is going up. Meanwhile, as you’ve just confirmed, the value of your house is going down. And all of the measures that the government has been talking about don’t kick in until next year.

We need a plan before Christmas because where I come from in rural and regional Australia, people live on low and fixed incomes. Fuel prices are about to go back up and you travel long distances on Sunday mornings to take the kids to the footy. And you also know that every time you go to the supermarket, you buy less with the same amount of money.

Now, Labor came into government saying they would do something about it and all they’re doing is re-diagnosing the problem. As we’ve just heard from Jason Clare.

What we need is the plan and we need to know before Christmas.

Okay, let’s move on to what’s happening today, National Cabinet is meeting, and leaders are expected to discuss the potential end of mandatory isolation for COVID cases. Jason, can we trust people that they will be fine is it time to just scrap it treat it like the flu?

I think that’s where we’re eventually going to get to Mon, I don’t know if we’ll make that decision today premiers and the Prime Minister will get together to talk about this but eventually, we will need to treat this just like the flu. Remember why we set these mandatory times in place in the first place. That was because unless people stayed at home, we feared that our hospitals would be overloaded.

We didn’t have enough respirators to keep people alive in hospital but as more people get vaccinated and we get better drugs, we’re going to be in a position where we can treat this like the flu.
But it’s important and Sussan and I’ve made this point on the show before that we get everybody to get vaccinated if you haven’t had your third or your fourth shot then please do that because it’s high vaccination rates and these new drugs that are going to help us to get back to the situation where if you are crook you stay at home, but you don’t get a fine if you walk out your driveway.

Okay, but we know that there have been no vaccinations that have been secured for 2023/2024 yet, Sussan is it time for this are you concerned?

It’s time to see the health advice. It’s great that people are back at the footy and sadly, the Swans went down last weekend. Today people will be out and about, but Western Sydney will be the winner.
But we do need to be confident that the health advice underpins what National Cabinet is saying and so I still believe it needs to be released to give people the confidence that they can get out and about and that governments are actually managing this. Because sadly COVID has not yet gone away.

Yeah. All right, Sussan. Jason, thank you both. Enjoy the game on the weekend.

Go the Eels!