There’s no doubt that this winter people in my electorate and around the country have felt pressure from the cost-of-living increases. Our government understands that households are feeling the price increases and that’s why it’s providing targeted support to help those who need it most, while not indulging in a cash splash that would add to inflation pressures. I particularly want to draw attention today to the energy relief payments that our government is providing. These are incremental payments totalling $250 off electricity bills. In Victoria they are in addition to the $250 being offered by the state government. These are targeted at people who need assistance the most, including pensioners, carers, Commonwealth concession card holders, low-income earners and veterans. The payments are applied directly, so there is no need for eligible people to do anything to receive them. They will appear on your bill.
Of course, this isn’t the only area our government is providing cost-of-living relief in. From cheaper medicines to cheaper childcare and fee-free TAFE, our government is supporting community members across a range of areas. We know Australians elected us to support them now and to do the hard work to support them into the future. We have not forgotten that this is a time when people are feeling the pressure from cost of living. We have not forgotten that it is our job to support people who need it most, and that is exactly what we are doing.