Will Australia’s record inflation spell trouble for Morrison’s election campaign?

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 Will Australia’s record inflation spell trouble for Morrison’s election campaign?
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Highlights

  • Consumer Price Index zoomed up 5.1% in last 12 months to the March 2022 quarter.
  • Cost of dwelling construction and automotive fuel prices have seen the highest spike over the period. 
  • The record jump in cost of living is building pressure on the Morrison government and may influence the election results.

“While good timing is invisible, bad timing sticks out a mile”.

This quote by English mentalist Tony Corinda seems to be portraying the current situation of Scott Morrison and his government, thanks to Australia’s record inflation in the March quarter. The staggering spike in inflation has hit Australians at a time when they have the power to pass on the shock waves to the Liberal Party of Australia in the upcoming national election.

Interesting read: What will shape Australian elections in 2022?

As per the data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.1% over the twelve months to the March 2022 quarter. The stronger-than-expected CPI is also the highest level since 2001.

On a quarterly basis, CPI rose 2.1%, which is also well beyond expectations.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures household inflation and includes statistics about price changes for categories of household expenditure.

The high percentage of annual CPI inflation is a result of higher dwelling construction costs and automotive fuel prices. There has been a glaring rise in the prices of new dwellings by owner-occupiers and automotive fuel, which surged 5.7% and 11.0%, respectively.

Meanwhile, there are concerns regarding a potential rate hike at the upcoming RBA meeting. Any such change would make Aussies pay more money for their mortgages, for the first time in almost 10 years.

You may read: AU Election 2022: Does Morrison govt want to cash in on national security?

Inflation vs government ahead of polls

Differentiating between Fake and Fact

Image source: © Jjvallee | Megapixl.com

Australians are going to cast their votes in the federal election on 21 May. Prior to that, the record jump in the cost of living has become the hot topic of debate during the election campaign in the country.

While the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has conveniently put the onus on external factors, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic for disruptions in supply chain of goods; Australians have got a reason to point fingers at the way the government has handled the situation amid crises.

The record surge in living costs may compel people to reconsider the pros and cons of voting in favour of the Liberal Party of Australia.   

Labor Senator Katy Gallagher also took the opportunity to rail against the Morrison government.

Do read: Disinformation Register: Debunking mistruths about 2022 Australian federal election

Bottom line

While there are several other factors that need government’s attention right now, inflation is certainly amongst the most prominent ones. It has not only brought in criticism for the Morrison government, but has also cropped in expectations from the different political parties to take the issue of rising cost of living as the central agenda in elections. It would be interesting to see how inflation will turn the tale of events now, in the ongoing election campaign and later, in the election results.

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