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Families feeling the pinch: new survey shows.

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WAYNE SWAN MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer


A new survey released today shows 46 per cent of Australians surveyed think they are financially worse off than a year ago.

The survey by and polling firm Coredata of 1530 people is yet more evidence that John Howard has fallen deeply out of touch when he claims that “working families in Australia have never been better off”.

The survey also badly exposes Peter Costello’s ongoing denials that Australia faces a housing affordability crisis. The survey shows:

• 25 percent of low-income households (those with total income less than $75,000 per annum) are losing 60 per cent or more of their income to home loan repayments.

• 72 per cent of low-income households said the last four rate rises had made paying their loans more difficult. • 22 per cent of all respondents are “just managing to make ends meet”. • 15 per cent of all respondents are running into debt. • More than one in eight borrowers thought their mortgage was worth more

than their home.

Mr Costello still claims that interest rates are low - even after nine rate rises despite his promise to keep rates “at record lows” at the last election.

But today’s survey is yet more evidence that Mr Costello has failed Australian families on interest rates, with often devastating financial consequences.

The Reserve Bank has warned Mr Costello on no fewer than 20 occasions in the last three years about capacity constraints in the economy putting upward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

But Mr Costello has ignored those warnings and now we see in this survey more evidence that families are paying a very heavy price.

Mr Costello also recently attacked the Prime Minister in the Howard biography for his “unsustainable” spending in the last two elections which put upward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

For the sake of Australian families, Mr Costello must firstly starting heeding the Reserve Bank’s inflation warnings, and secondly, find the courage to stand up to Mr Howard’s reckless pre-election spending sprees.

Federal Labor’s economic strategy is focused squarely on lifting the productive capacity of the economy and putting downward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

27 September 2007 Contact: Matthew Coghlan 0415098050