While the rising cost of living is greatly affecting the whole nation, Tasmanians are especially feeling the pressure. After all median weekly earnings for all employees in Tasmania is $1,000, which is 16.7 per cent less than the national average of $1,200.
Other areas where Tasmanians are often worse off than the mainland include rents and property prices, rate of GP bulk-billing, fuel prices and the much greater reliance on government pensions and payments. Nor is Tasmania immune from Australia’s steeply rising electricity and gas prices.
It is simply unfathomable why governments are not using the many tools at their disposal to start to deal with the soaring cost of living. For instance, the Federal Government could increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance, rein in the tax concessions for property investors and fund more social housing. The Government could also increase the rebate for GPs and roll dental into Medicare. And the sky high fuel and energy prices could be tackled by a more powerful ACCC, capped prices, a super profits tax and a national gas reservation.
All of this is achievable. It just needs the Federal Government to reset its priorities and have the will to make it all work.