Latrobe Valley residents continue to wear the real-world cost of the Andrews Labor Government’s financial incompetence as the cost of living and a raft of tax hikes continue to cripple families, businesses and pensioners.
A new report released by the independent Victorian Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) confirms Victorians are paying the highest property taxes in Australia.
Victorians will pay $2120 in property taxes per person across 2023-24, compared with $1646 in New South Wales and $1343 in Queensland.
The PBO analysis also reveals the full impact of the Andrews Government’s new Rent Tax and COVID Debt Levy, which will drive a spike in total land tax revenue per person from $783 in 2022-23 to $1,051 in 2023-24 – an increase of more than 34 per cent in just 12 months.
The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, said households across the Valley were already under extreme financial pressure thanks to rising interest rates, skyrocketing electricity costs and increases in daily expenses such as groceries, vehicle registration, rent and rates.
“Every day it is getting harder and harder for regional Victorians to make ends meet,” Mr Cameron said.
“Instead of providing the relief that Victorians need, the Andrews Government is hiking taxes in a desperate attempt to raise revenue because of its own financial incompetence.
“The cost of power to Victorian households is expected to go up $392 on average, while for small businesses it’s $752 – meanwhile the average gas bill will soar by 45 per cent.
“Labor’s economic mismanagement has also exacerbated the housing and homelessness crisis in the Valley, and the situation is spiralling out of control. Some 2783 people in the Latrobe local government area accessed specialised homelessness services last financial year – more than any other regional municipality in the state.
“The cost of groceries is astronomical and rising at a concerning rate, and the reality is that people are having to choose between feeding their families or powering their homes, and that is a decision nobody should have to make.
“Victoria is broke under Labor, hard-working people are being punished, and there is no relief in sight with net debt expected to rise to $171.4 billion in 2026-27.”