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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Page: 1543


Senator BERNARDI (6:48 PM) —Whilst we are waiting for some other senators to come down, I thank you for this opportunity to address the Senate. There are a number of concerns that the people of Australia are engaged in, and they want their politicians—the government and the opposition—to prioritise these concerns. Not least of all is the struggle that many families are finding themselves coming to terms with in day-to-day life regarding their financial and budgetary requirements. It is a genuine concern that many families today are struggling enormously with day-to-day living expenses—with rising electricity costs, with rising food prices, with the rise in everything that is necessary to them. A lot of the discretionary purchases that they can make are dropping in price but the necessities are going up in price.

There is concern amongst many people that some government policies are assisting in this. I make specific mention of the injection of capital into the money supply. I know the government argue that they need to prop up jobs and things of that nature. We do not dissent from that, because the coalition did endorse parts of the stimulus spending package. But, when you inject too much money into the economy, it fuels inflation and the people who suffer the most are those on regular wages. I note that the Australian Financial Review yesterday reported that the cost of living for a salaried employee has risen 60 per cent faster than the inflation rate. There are very real concerns for many families, and I would like the government, in its limited wisdom, to consider the real challenges that many families are facing. I sense that Senator Carol Brown is ready to give her speech. I thank the Senate, once again, for this brief opportunity to speak.