Barnaby supports Grafton campaign
THE political enigma that is Barnaby Joyce paid a whistle stop visit to Grafton yesterday to support Page Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan and deliver his understanding of the increase in the cost of living and its impact on small business.
Famous for shooting from the hip, Senator Joyce spoke to local media outside Grafton Fast Photos in his usual vitriolic manner, but didn’t give any definitive answers as to how the Coalition would soften the financial pressure on families and small business.
Senator Joyce instead likened politics to supporting a football team, saying people should vote for a party due to its track record.
“Like a footy team, you have to judge a government on its record. And the Coalition’s record on cost of living is better than Labor’s,” Senator Joyce said.
Senator Joyce said everywhere he went small business people were telling him they were struggling due to the impact of the increased cost of living on their customers.
“I know that the oxygen has been sucked out of the guts of the small business community at the moment,” he said. “If people have less money to spend in the community, small business does it tough.”
Grafton Fast Photos owner Louis Covre said his business had felt the pinch, with an increase in its electricity prices, and the costs of products from suppliers.
“I can’t supply a product without passing on a price rise to the consumer,” he said.
The answer to solving this problem, Senator Joyce said, was to have a government with a better economic management record.
“Under this (Labor) Government, electricity and water prices have been going up by 10 per cent a year, when in government we paid off Labor’s debt, kept spending under control, and electricity and water price increases were only 1-2 per cent a year,” he said.
Accusing the Labor Party of trying to win back public confidence by replacing Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard, Senator Joyce said once again, voters have to consider each party’s track record.
“It’s no good, as the Labor Party says, that we have to have this form of selective amnesia, where apparently nobody existed as leader before Julia Gillard,” he said.
Senator Joyce said Labor’s failed insulation and Building Education Revolution schemes had resulted in the government borrowing $150 million per day.
“The effect on the economy this is having, is putting up interest rates, putting pressure on small business, and driving up the cost of living,” he said.