Australian opposition targets inflation in campaign launch

Apr 30, 2022, 12:31 PM | Updated: May 1, 2022, 4:46 am
Australian opposition leader Anthony Albanese addresses the crowd during the Labor Party campaign l...

Australian opposition leader Anthony Albanese addresses the crowd during the Labor Party campaign launch in Perth, Sunday, May 1, 2022. Australia will have a national election on May 21. (Lukas Coch/AAP Image via AP)

(Lukas Coch/AAP Image via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s opposition party officially launched its election campaign on Sunday with an emphasis on cutting costs of living for voters as inflation surges to its highest rate in 21 years.

The center-left Labor Party started campaigning in the west coast city of Perth for the first time since World War II, in a demonstration of how important Western Australia state is to the party’s ambition to win control of government in the May 21 elections.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese promised lower cost child care and medicines if he becomes prime minister.

With many aspiring home owners priced out of the housing market, a Labor government would buy a stake of up to 40% in dwellings bought by thousands of eligible low- and middle-income earners. Labor also promised to raise standards in aged care and increase pay for staff.

“We can do better than this, so much better than this,” Albanese told supporters, referring to the conservative government’s nine years in power.

“We will look after the young, we will look after the sick, we will look after our older Australians. No one held back and no one left behind,” Albanese added.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked Labor’s plan to take a stake in homes, arguing a Labor government would expect to make money out of such deals.

“They will have equity in your home. And as … your equity goes up, they’re going to keep it,” Morrison said. “I don’t have a plan to make money off people buying homes. Quite the opposite. I want them to own their own home.”

Official data released last week showed that Australia’s inflation rose to 5.1% in the year through March. It is the highest annual rate since 2001, when a newly introduced 10% federal consumption tax created a temporary hike. Inflation in the latest March quarter was sharply higher than the 3.7% three months earlier. The March result was driven by a surge in fuel and housing costs as well as food shortages created by recent Australian floods.

While inflationary forces are largely outside Morrison’s control, some observers suspect rising prices undermine his coalition’s claim to be the superior economic managers.

Most economists expect Australia’s central bank will on Tuesday raise a benchmark interest rate for the first time since November 2010. The overnight cash rate has been at a record low 0.1% since November 2020.

The Reserve Bank of Australia last raised interest rates during an election campaign in 2007. Two weeks later, Prime Minister John Howard’s conservative government was voted out of office after more than 11 years in power.

Morrison set the election date on April 10. But parties officially launch their campaigns closer to the poll day when voters are starting to focus more on their choice.

Morrison isn’t expected to launch his Liberal Party’s campaign until the weekend before the election.

His coalition won 77 seats in the 2019 election in the 151-seat House of Representatives where a government needs to control a majority. The government’s majority shrank to a bare minimum 76 seats when a lawmaker quit the Liberal Party last year.

Labor won only five of the 16 electoral divisions in Western Australia in the last election. Morrison’s coalition won the rest.

Albanese is hoping Labor’s extraordinary popularity at the state parliament-level will brush off on his federal candidates.

The Labor state government used strict border restrictions to keep Western Australia largely free of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic until the more infectious delta and omicron variants became entrenched in recent months.

Labor was rewarded with a record 53 seats in the 59-seat state legislature in an election in March last year, 13 more than in the previous election.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembl...
Associated Press

They said it: Leaders at the UN, in their own words

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Many leaders saying many things about many topics that matter to them, to their regions, to the world: That’s what the U.N. General Assembly invariably produces each year. And each year, certain voices dominate. Here, The Associated Press takes the opposite approach and spotlights some thoughts — delivered universally from the […]
17 hours ago
Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General...
Associated Press

Belarus foreign minister blames NATO, West for Ukraine war

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In the eyes of Belarus’ foreign minister, the root cause of the war in Ukraine dates back 30 years ago to the end of the Cold War. At that time, there was no official treaty — just a “gentlemen’s agreement” that opened a path for the West to secure its domination, […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

US spy satellite launched into orbit from California

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket on Saturday. The NROL-91 spy satellite lifted off at 3:25 p.m. from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California’s Santa Barbara County. It was the last launch of […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

South Korea says North Korea test-fired missile toward sea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military says North Korea has fired at least one unidentified ballistic missile toward its eastern sea. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday did not immediately say what type of missile it was or how far it flew. The launch came a day after South Korean officials […]
17 hours ago
This photo provided by Buckingham Palace on Saturday Sept. 24, 2022 shows the ledger stone at the K...
Associated Press

Palace reveals ledger stone at queen’s final resting place

LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace released a photo Saturday giving the first public glimpse of the new ledger stone installed at the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II. The image shows the hand-carved Belgian black marble slab with brass letter inlays set into the floor of King George VI Memorial Chapel, St. George’s Chapel, […]
17 hours ago
Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud addresses the 77th session of the...
Associated Press

Saudi Arabia’s triumphant week reclaims the West’s embrace

NEW YORK (AP) — Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. The kingdom is once again being enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, and it is no longer as frowned upon to seek Saudi investments or accept their favor. […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Australian opposition targets inflation in campaign launch