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9 things government can do to reduce your living costs

By Graham Young - posted Wednesday, 22 November 2023

A to-do list to control inflation and bring down the cost of goods, services, and housing.

The federal government is belatedly recognising that some of its economic policies are contributing to the inflation that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is trying to stamp out by raising interest rates.

Since April 2022 when rates first started to increase, it's as though we've been in a car with two drivers - one with its foot on the brake, the other with its foot on the accelerator.


Now, at last, the driver with his foot on the accelerator is showing signs of understanding that they're going to damage the engine of growth if they keep pulling it in two directions.

So they've determined to cut spending on road and rail projects after a blowout in costs on the $120 billion (US$78 billion) portfolio of current and proposed projects of $38 billion - more than 25 percent.

Cutting road and rail projects is not where I would necessarily start. Good road and rail projects actually add to the productivity of the country.

Think of all the trucks that go between Brisbane and Sydney. The upgrades of the Pacific Highway have so far cut the time to travel between the two major east coast cities by 2.5 hours, or somewhere around 20 percent.

That's a huge lift in productivity, and as logistics are a significant proportion of retail prices, a huge decrease in prices. It is therefore anti-inflationary, as well as helping truckies maintain their real earnings.

Not that all transport projects are that productive.


Former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew's Melbourne Suburban Rail Loop and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's Cross River Rail are both products that provide negative benefits. They therefore increase costs and are pro-inflationary.

The federal government should step away from funding projects like these.

What else should it do?

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This was first published by Epoch Times

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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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