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As the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be waning, the cost of living is coming into focus as the major issue facing Australians, potentially swinging their vote as the election approaches. But why are we finding it harder to make ends meet? Will things get better soon? And what can the Commonwealth government do to help ease the pressure? Well, as my old State Treasury colleagues would say: it’s complicated and it depends. Inflation creation Rising cost of living is generally synonymous with higher inflation.  But inflation has been fairly stable over the last five years with the Consumer

Federal elections mean enticing voters with big promises and big spending. Our Pandemic Election will be no different in that sense, but vastly different in others. While we currently have no polling date, and the Federal Budget being handed down on 29 March, unofficial campaigning has begun for both parties. Policies regarding emission reduction targets, healthcare promises and, of course, the roadmap out of this never-ending pandemic have already been outlined. Every State and Territory have seats crucial to each party, and WA is absolutely no exception. Yet the West will play a unique role in this election, either assisting the

Democracy requires constant attention, and our system is no exception — even when the antics of sports stars, the wave of Omicron and a summer of bushfires and soaring temperatures are dominating headlines. In our third year of the pandemic, Australia will head to the polls to elect a Federal Government and in contrast to the 2019 election, a focus on jobs and growth may not be enough to win voters over. It will be a test for Scott Morrison, the first Prime Minister to run a full term in nearly a decade — no small achievement considering Australia has had seven