Chalmers has prioritized addressing the cost of living as a key item on his to-do list.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has confirmed that the federal government is actively crafting a new package aimed at providing relief for the cost of living in the upcoming May budget. Emphasizing the centrality of rising wages in the government’s strategy to mitigate the impact of heightened inflation, Chalmers revealed recent data illustrating the highest wage increases in 15 years, particularly benefiting the nation’s lowest-paid workers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in a press conference last week, announced that he had directed the Treasury and Finance departments to formulate cost-of-living policy proposals for cabinet consideration leading up to this year’s budget. Albanese highlighted the government’s primary focus on delivering relief from the cost of living while alleviating inflationary pressures.

Chalmers outlined three key economic priorities for the coming year during a press conference on Monday. These include providing cost-of-living relief to temper inflation without exacerbating it, strengthening the economy through investments in housing, energy, and skills, and improving the overall budgetary condition.

At his first press conference of the year, Chalmers acknowledged the significant challenges facing the economy, including elevated interest rates, global conflicts, persistent inflation, and natural disasters such as the recent flooding in Queensland. Despite these challenges, he expressed a commitment to considering additional responsible measures to address cost-of-living pressures in the budget, recognizing the human and economic consequences of the ongoing circumstances. Chalmers represents the electorate of Rankin, covering the southern suburbs of Brisbane.

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