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Jan Fran Has Issues…with Cost of Living. You may have noticed everything is mad expensive at the moment, and both major parties have been spruiking how they can fix it. So we've brought in a special referee - Ebony Bennett from the Australia Institute - to call our showdown match between Finance Minister Simon Birmingham and Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers.
Also, Ray Martin tells us how the cost of a birthday cake brought down a potential Prime Minister in this week's ‘Weird Election History'.
If you missed A Rational Fear Live at the Melbourne Comedy Festival featuring Australian of the Year Grace Tame - you can listen to it for the next two weeks by becoming a Patreon subscriber and helping us with our cost of living. Do iiiit.
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Dan Ilic 0:00
Good idea. No, it's here just barging in front of Jan before she kicks off the podcast. Do you know that nearly 295,000 Young people in Australia between 18 and 24 are not enrolled to vote. Yes, that means about 2000 Young people per electorate and enrolled to vote. And that is a serious amount of people, particularly when you get down to margins like 1.3%, like in Wentworth, where I live, so if you are a young person who is between 18 and 24, please go to the AZ website ac.govt.au For slash enroll and make sure you have your name on the ballot because we need young people to make change. Young people believe in good stuff like you know, climate action, and you know, affordable housing and a whole bunch of other things certain governments don't believe in so please head to abc dot govt for slash enroll and enroll before 8pm. Monday the 18th of April, you've only got until 8pm To enroll to vote. I know they made it really difficult for you. So please, if you are one of the 295,000 young people who are listening to this podcast right now, go to abc.govt.au forward slash in raw.
Ebony Bennett 1:15
This episode is supported by the jib foundation.
Jan Fran 1:21
Australia will go to the polls on Saturday, May the 21st The Latest News poll showing that Scott Morrison is pushing ahead as preferred Prime Minister
Robbie McGreggor 1:31
Good evening it only took the first full day of campaigning to produce the first blunder of the Federal Election Anthony Albanese. He
Unknown Speaker 1:38
wants to be Prime Minister, how could he not know something as basic as the unemployment rate or the official cash rate
Unknown Speaker 1:45
and the Prime Minister has once again faced voter anger at a pub this time in Western Sydney. Watch this to describe, describe.
Robbie McGreggor 1:55
Jam Fran has issues breaking down the election one issue at a time brought to you by a rational fear.
Jan Fran 2:06
How long Hello and welcome to episode three of jam Fran has issues. I am Chad Fran. This is the party where we break down the election one issue at a time when I say wait, I'm talking about myself and my co host, Dan Ilic and Dan since the last time we recorded the episode, guess what? Guess what? Guess what election has been called?
Dan Ilic 2:31
Who would have thought Who would have thought that would happen? Hey, Jen, I've got a question for you. What's Pizza Huts? Number Jen, what's Pizza Huts? Number?
Jan Fran 2:40
I genuinely know the answer this question. And I know the tune as well. And it's not all right. Anyone would like me to be Prime Minister, I'm here. I'm ready. I know my facts and figures, people. Well, this week, our big topic is the cost of living. That's going to be a massive issue in the lead up to the election. Before we get to our key issue though we are going to take issue with a big story that happened this week. Daniel, what are we taking issue with?
Dan Ilic 3:07
This week? We're taking issue with specifically gotcha questions, where journalists will wheel out some arcane question that you can easily look up in a table on Google is Adam bad put it and and find out the answer real quick. This you know, we live in an information age Gen where we don't have to keep this stuff in our head. But somehow journalists think you do.
Jan Fran 3:29
The story here is that some journalist asked Anthony Albanese about the cash rate, what the cash rate was and about what the unemployment rate was. And Anthony Albanese could not answer the question. Let's let's hear the one about the unemployment rate.
Unknown Speaker 3:43
Andrew, what's the national unemployment rate? national unemployment rate at the moment is I think it's 5.4. So,
Jan Fran 3:55
okay, clearly uncomfortable there did not know the unemployment rate or couldn't recite it in that particular moment. And do you know what, Dan, what, I don't give a shit. I don't care. I don't care if the opposition leader or the Prime Minister cannot recite a particular factor and figure, I don't care if they don't know the unemployment rate in that particular moment. I care what they're gonna do about the unemployment. Yeah, but what I care
Dan Ilic 4:18
is also the he's also the Labour leader, like he's, his whole job is representing unemployed people. He should know what the unemployed unemployment rate is. And it's been well publicized over the last few months. Like this is one of the things.
Jan Fran 4:31
I mean, it's been covered. You can look it up with Google, there's gonna be there's no, there's genuinely going to be 1000 facts and figures and stats like this over the course of this election campaign that are going to be relevant, and they're going to be pertinent because the scope of the election is so large, and we're looking at so many issues. I really do not expect our leaders to retain rote information. What I want from them is a strategy on how they plan to make this country better. Genuinely
Dan Ilic 4:59
I would love to hear As both leaders tell me, just how many parts per million of carbon there is in the atmosphere, let's
Jan Fran 5:08
get rid of pie. Oh, it's
Dan Ilic 5:09
that for me. That's a huge number. That's 419 million parts per million in the atmosphere. And it wasn't that five years ago. That's what I'm concerned with, say
Jan Fran 5:18
at least somebody can can retain facts and figures. That's yeah, that's you. But see this, this is kind of part of a slightly longer trend, because Scott Morrison was asked about the price of bread in February. He didn't a address the National Press Club. Here's the question,
Unknown Speaker 5:34
you told me the price of a loaf of bread, a liter of petrol and a rapid antigen test. I'm not going to pretend to you that I do that. I'll leave those sorts of things to you, mate.
Dan Ilic 5:44
And that's fair enough. Do you know what it's different everywhere like where I live Jan, a loaf of bread in Bondi is about 20 bucks where you live Jan a loaf of bread is $3.50 and it's just the white stuff. So you know, like, it's just it's, you know, it's different where you live and a liter of petrol art might the petrol station next to my house is the most expensive in the country. So it literally petrol here is like $2.20 It's crazy. If you
Jan Fran 6:09
ask me how much a loaf of bread cost like right now, in this moment, I don't think I would be able to give you a clear answer. And I bought bread yesterday bought bread, and it was Turkish bread, in case anybody wants to know, and I don't know exactly how much it cost me. So there was a third person who got got got shit. I guess he got a question thrown to him. It was Adam Bandt, who this week again, addressing the National Press Club, was asked this question,
Unknown Speaker 6:37
just very quickly talking about Jack factchecking exercises. What's the current WPI Google at night
Jan Fran 6:44
Google have made that's how you do it. Just Google it might we know what you're doing? You're trying to catch the leader of the greens out so you can probably look good to your colleagues and everyone else by saying, Ah, I got ya. But full
Dan Ilic 6:57
credit to Adam bad. He said Google it. They went on a diatribe about gotcha questions, and then said, yeah, it's about 2.3. Points, I think you actually knew the answer. Now, I don't know no two point something percent is a little fuzzy, but it's pretty bang on because it's 2.3%.
Jan Fran 7:13
I also feel like look, I'm a journalist, I died journalists on my people. It is my profession. I spent a lot of time defending them. I think at some point, we just have to say, You know what, maybe we do have our heads up our own us as a bit. And maybe we shouldn't be trying to kind of one up each other and get catch these politicians out. I don't know. I saw a great
Dan Ilic 7:30
tweet on Twitter. Somebody said, Paul Ron Mize and he just caught onto a trend just before was becoming a little bit distasteful to do like he he just jumped on it and decided to do it. Have a laugh with himself, but it slightly got completely mowed down.
Jan Fran 7:46
Yeah. Speaking of that diatribe, well, Adam bet. Did you know give us a bit of an election pitch as well in his answer to Ron myosin, who was the general from the Australian Financial Review that asked that question, here's what he said.
Adam Bandt 7:57
elections should be about reaching for the stars and offering a better society. It would be passing laws that lift the minimum wage, it will be making dental and mental into Medicare. It would be making sure that we wipe student debt and build affordable houses.
Dan Ilic 8:15
Wow, that was such an Obama moment. I'm inspired. Yes, we grains. Let's do it.
Jan Fran 8:20
Yes, ma'am. You know why? Cuz that's what this episode is about my friends. It is about the cost of living. That's the Greens pitch there. You're gonna hear from labor and liberal in just a second. But first, what's the deal with the cost of living? Here is the deal with the cost of living, you are paying more for stuff you need groceries, petrol housing, white coffee. There are a few reasons for these cost increases. First, there's COVID. It's disrupted supply chains, meaning goods just don't get to where they're meant to go on time. Second, there's the war in Ukraine, Russia is the world's second largest oil producer. It's copped a bunch of sanctions supply is uncertain cost goes up. Third, there's inflation. That's the cost of goods over time. Now, a bunch of factors contribute to inflation. What you need to know is that it's rising globally, and Australia is no exception. Fourth, there's the cash slash interest rate that are exactly the same thing. But essentially, it's the interest that banks require you to pay on a loan. It has been hurting bloody low for a decade, which has led more people to take out loans, which has driven up the cost of houses, you may have noticed, the only way for that cash rate to go is up, baby. Which means if you are mortgaged to the eyeballs as 35% of Australian households are, you'll be paying more each month. Oh, and rents are up significantly. Did I mention that wage growth has been slow? No. Well, it has. So how will all of this impact you? Well, that sort of depends on your circumstances. Are you a single parent on a low income are you renting In your 20s Are you half of a dink couple stands for dual income? No kids, are you a pensioner? Are you on welfare? The reality though, is that because so many of the factors that drive up the cost of living seem to be coming together in the year of our Lord 2022. Everyone is bound to be impacted in some way. Hence, why this is a massive election issue and why the treasurer Josh Frydenberg, made a point of tackling cost of living in his budget last month. They didn't nail it. Well, they were definitely sweetness. But if you ask those who advocate for low income earners and welfare recipients, they say no, not really. Also, as much as we'd like to think that good policy will fix the rising cost of living. If it's caused by these global external factors, then, there's only so much that our major parties can do right now, right, there's only so much they can do. What can they do? What are they putting forward? I think the best way to find out Dan and I thought that we can pit them against each other.
Dan Ilic 11:09
Yeah, it's some kind of Thunderdome s. Yes. Economists battle. Did just they're throwing numbers at each other. You know, numbers. I know you and I know like 2.3%, which is the WPI and 4%, which is the unemployment right? Yeah. Oh, and the cash. Is that right is 0.1%. These numbers I know urgent. I know these numbers because I've been paying attention this week.
Jan Fran 11:35
Yeah, well, certain people haven't apparently. But look, they did declined to let us put them in a stadium and allow them to fight to the death. They said no, they refused. Instead, what we've given labor and liberal is an elevator pitch. 60 seconds to put forward your plan to tackle cost of living in Australia. So in one corner. I'm mixing up my fighting metaphors. I think we're in a boxing ring in one list. In one elevator, we've got the Finance Minister Simon Birmingham. In the other elevator slash boxing corner slash stadium. We've got opposition treasurer Jim Chalmers, like I said each of them have 60 seconds to put forward their plan. And we have a very special referee who will be watching from the sidelines, Ebony Bennett, from The Australia Institute and host of follow the money podcast. Welcome, Ebony match.
Dan Ilic 12:33
How does it feel to go from being a host of a podcast to being an elevator operator?
Ebony Bennett 12:38
Look, it's everything that I've dreamed of. And more,
Jan Fran 12:40
we'd love that for you. And you're gonna be equipped with a referee whistle. So we're gonna play the pictures. Anytime you have a question. Anytime something sauce pops up. Anytime there's a red flag anytime you feel like you need elaboration. You just blow that whistle. And once the pitch is over, we're going to come to you and find out well, how many whistles Have you blown? How many red cards have you given to each to each party member and why?
Dan Ilic 13:08
So the end? Is the party with the least amount of whistles get a free kick. Is that how does that help?
Jan Fran 13:13
Yeah, I'm not sure which sport we're now currently referring to. But let's just say
Dan Ilic 13:18
we've got we're seeing
Ebony Bennett 13:21
finding rings I gotta say every economy
Dan Ilic 13:23
needs lots of different metaphors to get across the line and touch base and under power. Let's go Let's
Jan Fran 13:28
go full credit to the boys. Let's start Simon Birmingham. What do you got? 60 seconds baby. Give us your pitch.
Simon Birmingham 13:35
Cost of Living pressures are real for many Australians right now and Russia's war on Ukraine the aftershocks of COVID-19 They're having real impacts. That's why the Morison government has delivered to make sure that there's more support for more Australian households are two stages of income tax reforms delivered to date are putting 1000s of dollars of extra take home pay in the wages of many Australians recently, we increase the rates of pension and other cost of living payments. And we're providing targeted additional supports to those on fixed incomes as well as those in low and middle incomes. We acted to address the spike in petrol prices by cutting 22 cents a litre from the fuel excise in the recent budget. We also demonstrated ongoing support for those who use medicines most making them cheaper for a couple of million Australians. Our childcare reforms have provided ongoing assistance through two waves of reforms targeted to those Australians on the lowest incomes working the longest hours making sure they get the greatest support to pay for their childcare bills.
Jan Fran 14:41
Oh right on the bell, a whistle how many whistles for Simon Birmingham? Ah,
Ebony Bennett 14:46
I think keeping track.
Dan Ilic 14:48
I think there was five or six.
Jan Fran 14:49
Yeah, I reckon it was for four whistles for Minister Birmingham. Why where were they coming from?
Ebony Bennett 14:56
Where he started to talk about that the government had provided more support for it. Australian households, what he wasn't saying there was that a lot of that support is temporary. So he talked about the one off payments that are going to people on fixed incomes like pensioners and those on unemployment benefits, that $250 is really great people will welcome that. But that's only once off. And that's it. Whereas a lot of the permanent help for cost of living is actually going to go in big income tax cuts for people earning like $200,000 a year, in a couple of years time that helped will be permanent. And a lot of the tax cuts that we've seen for low and middle income earners, the low Mito, it's called the low and middle income tax offset. That's ending this year, basically. So people will get that support this year. But next year, that's going to disappear. So a lot of this support is really quite temporary.
Dan Ilic 15:51
Wow, Ebony, Ebony, what I'm hearing from you is if you're on 50 or $60,000 a year, you should be trying to get one of those $200,000 Plus jobs.
Ebony Bennett 15:59
Absolutely. I mean, they're out there on trees, I'm sure just waiting for two to apply for them. All right,
Jan Fran 16:06
what was the second whistle for?
Ebony Bennett 16:08
I think it was around, where he talked about the two stages of tax cuts. Coming down the line, we have these huge what are called the stage three income tax cuts, they're gonna cost the budget about $17 billion a year. And they're gonna go to people who are really struggling on $200,000 a year and the Morison government thinks that they need an extra $9,000 in tax cuts every year, and that they will get those every year forevermore until we change the tax rates again. So that's, you know, I think what he's not saying in that little that little bit about tax cuts,
Jan Fran 16:45
I have always said this, won't someone think of the upper middle class. Whistle whistle number three,
Dan Ilic 16:52
I mean, you've got your regular pool, but you also need your plunge pool and then constant about $9,000. A plunge pool, I've done the research. I mean, I don't own a house yet. I look at domain and real estate or come to the you like it's porn. But maybe one day except for the punch culture, data dream.
Jan Fran 17:08
Ebony Bennett 17:11
I think that might have been around putting the fuel excise. That was one of the measures the government put in the budget. That's because petrol prices have gone up dramatically. Although it's worth noting that it was already getting close to $2, a leader well before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. So there was already an existing problem just made worse by that war. But that's a real band aid solution and terrible climate policy to boot as well. So imagine if that money had been spent over the last nine years that this Morrison government or the coalition has been in government, encouraging people to uptake electric vehicles or investing in public transport, you know, petrol price spikes wouldn't be a problem. If you didn't have to buy petrol. It's only temporary, it's only in for six months. So in six months time, you're you're out of luck, petrol prices will be going up again,
Dan Ilic 18:06
six months, that's just another wave of Omicron. You know, hit that and then
Ebony Bennett 18:10
we're back. Well, only more importantly, it's just enough to get them, you know, over the next six weeks election and to the other side. So I think probably they felt like three months seemed too obvious what they were doing there. So they've just extended it to six.
Jan Fran 18:26
Okay, you gave a force whistle there as well. And that was when Birmingham was talking about childcare. So what's going on there?
Ebony Bennett 18:33
So the childcare reforms that the government have introduced have been modest at best. So rather than actually fixing the problem, they've more or less kind of fast about as at the edges and is that better than nothing? Yes, it is. But fixing those actual problems with childcare would be so much better. And the reason why I kind of blew the whistle on that one is because the government did get it right. It did an amazing job during the pandemic, it brought in free childcare, really, specifically to help essential workers but you know, that actually benefits everyone because it benefits the whole economy. We know that in places where childcare is much cheaper or more affordable, women's participation in the workforce increases, and that helps boost GDP overall, but it also helps make sure women don't end up in poverty in retirement. So I think the government you know, did it really well, but again, temporarily, and then withdrew that and so that's why I find that so disappointing, because, you know, they did get it right and they helped the economy. They helped women at one point and then you know, that they've put it back in back in their pocket again. Childcare is
Dan Ilic 19:42
just so expensive, isn't it? It's absolutely zany how how much it costs. I mean, I know that's why Jen is doing this podcast so she can pay for childcare and it's like, you know, putting it in the bank. That project money's just day to day money. This podcast is childcare money,
Jan Fran 19:59
Dan info Are you new? How sadly accurate what you just said? I am currently carrying a fetus that is six and a half months old that I had to enroll in a child. Because I just kept getting told you've got to enroll the baby before they're born. That's how hard it is to get into childcare. So I've already got the heebie jeebies about childcare, believe me, Okay, what I'm hearing any I'm hearing you use the word temporary, quite a lot. So this this sounds like a lot of short term sweeteners that we're hearing from the coalition. Let's see, let's see what Labour has to say. We've got Jim Chalmers, he is the Shadow Treasurer. Here is his 62nd pitch for us getting the elevator gym taken away
Jim Chalmers 20:45
by everyone, Jim Chalmers here from federal labor. We know that everybody out there in Jan Fran land is doing it tough. Everything's going up except your pay, which means you're working hard, but you aren't getting ahead under this government. We also know these pressures didn't just begin with the war in Ukraine. And it's not just the price of petrol that's been going up, there's rent, childcare, groceries and wages haven't been growing as fast as they've needed to for years. If you earn the average pay, you'd be $307. A week or better off now if your wages were still growing at the same rate they did under the last Labour government. So we've got a plan to get wages moving again, for cheaper childcare, cheaper power bills and more secure, well paid jobs. 96% of families will be better off under our cheaper childcare policy, many of them saving 1000s of dollars a year. And our plan for cleaner and cheaper energy will cut power bills by $275 a year by 2025. It'll take you less than a minute to vote this election day. Use that time wisely. Otherwise, you could be paying for it in the next three years.
Jan Fran 21:47
All right, Jim Chalmers there with how many whistles I counted three. Let's go back. Where are they coming from?
Ebony Bennett 21:56
Well, first of all, he was just a lot more concise. So it's hard to get in there with the whistles for everything. But around the points that he was making around wages, I guess I would say he is right. It's not just that inflation started rising. When we had the war in Ukraine and things. We've had those pressures for a while now. But wages, you know, that has been a problem for a really long time, not just since the pandemic, all the way back to 2013. And arguably, longer than that, and that's because Australia has really designed its whole industrial relations system, effectively, to push down wages. That's not a floor. That's actually a design feature, which Matias Corman belt the cat on a few years back. So it's a really important point to make, because people wouldn't be having as much problem with rising prices and inflation if their wages had been keeping pace ahead of that. So that's really the problem that people have at the moment.
Jan Fran 22:58
I mean, Labour talked about in their budget reply, they've got a solid plan for increasing wages in the aged care sector. And Anthony Albanese made a point of saying that he supports higher wages, but they didn't really seem to be a concrete plan from labour on how they intend to increase the wages of everyday Australians. Am I correct in that?
Ebony Bennett 23:19
Yeah. So basically, there's a case before the I want to give
Jan Fran 23:25
red flags to That's what I'm saying here. I'm gonna blow a whistle. Now.
Unknown Speaker 23:30
It's not a red flag. It's a whistle. I
Jan Fran 23:35
still don't know what's what's what?
Dan Ilic 23:39
If anybody's got a whistle, and you've got a red flag, I've got a harmonica. All right, let's go.
Ebony Bennett 23:44
He didn't he didn't want to do pacella or something like major to get in there? Look, I think it's important that the government does have a huge role to play particularly in setting the wages of aged care workers, because it's the primary funder of aged care, certainly, if Labour was to provide additional funding to the sector, and to perhaps tie that to workforce outcomes. To make it kind of a quid pro quo of we'll put in this additional money, but in return, you actually have to pass it on to the workers because we have seen more money go into the sector in the past, and instead, it's gone into building things like new decks for nursing homes, when actually they can't afford to give people proper meals that are nutritious for example. Yeah, I'm
Dan Ilic 24:27
on Ebony and I'm on a we all know how the trickle down effect works. You just give it to the people at the top and then you get the scraps leftover from
Jan Fran 24:39
Okay, so you had a third whistle there around child care as well. There seems to be a bit of a sticking point what's what's going on there?
Ebony Bennett 24:46
Yeah, look, child care, but also his carbon around making electricity bills cheaper. That was one I wanted to pick up on as well. So Labour's childcare policy is better than the government's but the fact is really that they could go further free or low cost, high quality childcare and early childhood education has huge economic benefits as well as a cost of living benefit for families. And it's just something that we have not got right up until this point. But I thought it's really interesting his comment around electricity bills, you know, those are a necessity. We know that densities are one of the big problems with inflation, they are going up much more than discretionarily inflation on things like takeaway coffees. So electricity bills, Jim Chalmers was right to say basically that Labour's policy would put downward pressure on electricity bills, and that's because they want to invest much more in renewable energy and battery storage, the existing coalition government has done a lot to basically stop funding from building renewable energy. And we know that the more renewable energy enters the market, the more it pushes down wholesale prices. And that's really good for all households. And so he put that figure on it there. But that's what people need to know the more renewable energy that comes into the electricity market, which is much stronger policy under Labor, that will really help all households who use electricity in the national electricity market. So I thought that was a really important point to pull out, because the coalition government, by contrast, is really doing a lot to actually subsidize the problem and build new, expensive gas fired power stations, for example. So they are headed in quite a different direction. We've heard
Dan Ilic 26:29
for so long that they really love technology, not taxes, but it appears that they're actually just taxing the technology like cutting arena and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in the last budget. These are the people that are responsible for new renewable technologies. It's it's absolutely hypocritical. Yeah, a politician being hypocritical.
Jan Fran 26:52
Okay, so I counted three whistles for Jim Chalmers, but now that I'm blowing my own whistle or tooting my own horn, or whatever, labor was considering raising the jobseeker payment, it is now no longer considering that that is off the table. What is that going to do to the cost of living particularly for those on lower incomes?
Ebony Bennett 27:12
I think this is really a big weakness for both the coalition and labor because people on fixed incomes, really specifically those on unemployment benefits, those on job seeker live below the poverty line, it's not enough each week, the government actually did a really amazing thing during the pandemic abroad, hundreds of 1000s of people out of poverty by temporarily doubling the the income of job seeker with a supplement. But that went away and plunged a whole lot of people about 600,000 people back below the poverty line, including many, many 1000s of children. And so we're still in this situation where anyone who's on job seeker, basically, sometimes they have to skip meals, sometimes they're making choices between Can I eat this week, or can I buy my medicine this week. And really, I think it's a big failing labor has ruled out having a review into that that was something they took to the last election. So really, a lot wanting from both labor and the coalition. In that respect. Remember the
Dan Ilic 28:17
stories about how folks could help themselves out of poverty for that period, where they could buy their kids brand new school shoes for the first time. And something about just that example really touched me on I was lucky enough to grow up in like a middle class family. And we got plenty school shoes every year. You know, the idea that you have to make a choice between a male or brand new school shoes would be no preposterous to folks that are middle class, but that is is
Jan Fran 28:45
the reality for people. Yeah. All right. You heard it here. First people ever knew about it from The Australia Institute. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Your referee skills, your elevator skills, your stadium skills, your football skills. I don't know where we are. All that
Ebony Bennett 29:00
to my resume.
Dan Ilic 29:02
You go can you just hit P five. I'm just gonna go down to my car.
Robbie McGreggor 29:08
Jam frat house issues. Wait, election history?
Dan Ilic 29:13
Jan Fran 29:16
Dan Ilic 29:22
Oh, that's so good. Jen. Has anyone ever asked you to sing the national anthem as the grandfather
Jan Fran 29:28
say heaven. And I wonder why we should fix that. We should fix that. Well, this is a segment called weed election history does exactly what it says on the box. And because this episode is about the cost of living, absolutely. We're going to serve you up some very weird election history that pertains to the cost specifically, of a cake. Now I know that you know, this story down Marie Antoinette, the famous French royal once said Let them eat cake. I think John Hewson, the former leader of the Liberal Party, will never say let To make cake ever again
Dan Ilic 30:02
No, absolutely. And if he does, he'd be saying let them eat cake plus 15%.
Jan Fran 30:08
You don't want to know what we're talking about. We've got the dulcet tones of Ray Martin with this storytime about how the cost of living stopped someone from potentially becoming Australia's next prime minister.
Unknown Speaker 30:21
Our story begins in the Americas. You know, it is the birthplace of Joe Rogan. In 1987, the US stock market crashed, sending shockwaves around the global economy. At the same time, we were experiencing our own 80s Hangover. There we were sitting on a housing bubble that was just about to end the years leading to the 1993 election. Were bad. How bad? Well, unemployment reached 11% 10,000 People went on the dole in a week. And both the Victorian and South Australian state banks collapsed. The treasurer at the time you may know him as Prime Minister poor feeding. Well, he called us the recession that Australia had to have. So it was no surprise that going into the 1993 election, the opposition's John Hewson was the front runner, with some papers calling the election unlovable. But to win, he would need more than a big lead. He would need a big plan. A plan so big it would save the economy from going down the drain. It included sweeping tax cuts, slashes to government spending, and at the center of it all the introduction of a new 15% Goods and Services Tax. You know it is GST? Houston had all his bases covered. All that was left was to name that anything. It needed a name that the country could rally around a name that inspires grit and resolve. He called his fight back. Despite its simple name, fight back was complicated and confused voters. Maybe Worst of all, no one could get their head around what g is T would actually mean facts in hand and ready to face the nation. Houston sat down for primetime interview with a current affairs Mike Willacy, who would change the course of the election with one simple question. If I buy
Unknown Speaker 32:21
a birthday cake from a cake shop, and then njsga is invoice to pay more or less for their birthday cake.
Unknown Speaker 32:30
We may never know what went through John Houston's mind when he was asked the cost of a birthday cake. But we imagined that it might have been something like this
Dan Ilic 32:40
cake to teach us a cake. Oh shit. I've got fingers milk bread, even lollies. Dammit, John, you idiot. And we miss cake. Or at night. This is what we trained for cake cake. Mom's chunky cake. I can almost taste it. Okay, there are two cups of self raising flour. That's 15 cents plus GST for one cup of sugar 10 cents. Vanilla essence. Always remember to lick the spoon. Shit. Shit. Okay, okay segments.
Unknown Speaker 33:08
Well, it will depend where the cakes today in that shop are subject to sales tax will they're not? Firstly, they might have a sales tax on them. Let's assume that they don't have a sales tax on and then the tax birthday cake is going to be selling tax free. And of course you wouldn't pay it would be exempted which there would be no GST on it. Under our system. If it was run with a sales tax today, it would attract the GST. And then the difference would be the difference between the two taxes whatever the sales tax rate is on birthday cakes how it's decorated because there'll be sales tax perhaps on some of the decorations as well. And then of course the price. The price will reflect that according
Unknown Speaker 33:45
smelling blood. Mike Willacy went in for the
Unknown Speaker 33:48
test on the birthday cake to try to make a simple example. You tell us in what you've published that the cost of cake goes down. The cost of confectionery goes up that's icing and maybe ice cream, and then just candles on top of
Unknown Speaker 34:03
luck. How could I forget candles? Johnny will
Unknown Speaker 34:07
stick around and candles as you say that attract sales tax. And of course we scrap the sales tax yet before
Unknown Speaker 34:15
the public reaction with instance, the GST ruin cake, and Houston's mistake was fatal. The interviewer gave Paul Keating everything he needed to take five back to its knees and to win the election. It's been said that he said never again ordered dessert, and he prefers to spend his birthdays alone. And while we may never know if fightback would have saved Australia, there's one thing we could all agree on. Take it away am I
Unknown Speaker 34:44
the answer to a birthday cake is so complex. You do have a problem with the overall GST, GST.
Dan Ilic 34:54
And, yeah, John Hewson had a very big problem. She was speaking to the customer living Do you know how much a customer Ah to drive to re Martin's house and back at no cost me about that $17 In tolls. So there you go. There you go. And if you want to help us with the cost of living on this podcast, just simply go to a rational fear.com click on the Patreon links and chip in for the cost of a cup of coffee a month. Keep
Jan Fran 35:18
us although we don't know how much coffee costs disclaimer, it could it could cost $4 it could cost $100 We don't know.
Dan Ilic 35:26
Thankfully thankfully on Patreon, you've got a borderless 50 amount, but you've also got a $14.50 amount. So that's pretty good if you live in Western Australia, where I've just been for the last week and boy, coffee. That's what it costs over there.
Jan Fran 35:38
And that is it for our episode on the cost of living. Join us next week we're talking about the issue of foreign policy.
Dan Ilic 35:48
I want to say a big thank you to everybody who came to our Melbourne Comedy Festival show. With Grace time it was absolutely sensational. 600 people crammed in forum to listen to everybody for an hour and 20 minutes. It was amazing if you want to listen to that. That is on our Patreon feed only for the next two weeks or so a big thank you to rode mics who supplied us with some gear for this podcast, the jib Foundation, our Patreon supporters, and also we record our show on Gadigal Land of the coronation. So big shout out to the First Nation folks whose land we live and work upon.
Robbie McGreggor 36:23
And remember to vote rationally
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