Sunrise host Natalie Barr confronts Albanese government about cost of living crisis: ‘Not believing you’

Natalie Barr has confronted senior Albanian minister Tanya Plibersek about the government’s perceived lack of action in tackling the cost of living.

New polls published on Monday show primary support for Labor has fallen to a new low of just 30 percent, below the party’s historically low voting levels in the 2022 election.

Meanwhile, the Resolve Strategic survey found support for the coalition rose to 36 percent over the same period.

However, Albanese is still seen as the preferred prime minister by 41 percent of the public, compared to opposition leader Peter Dutton, who is on 32 percent.

The shift in public sentiment was largely due to concerns about the rising cost of living and its impact on household budgets.

For example, 55 percent of the 1,610 people surveyed between April 17 and 21 said they would have trouble coming up with the money to pay for a major household expense of a few thousand dollars, such as a refrigerator or car repair.

Barr faced Environment Minister Plibersek on Monday and said: “That’s why they’re voting against your government. What is your answer?’

Ms Plibersek then cited a list of Labor policies aimed at helping people make ends meet, including “cutting electricity bills, lower childcare costs, cheaper medicines, making it cheaper and easier to see a doctor to go, extra paid parental leave, free TAFE, more support for affordable housing’ and lower taxes.

But the Sunrise host snapped back: “They (the voters) don’t actually believe you, do they?”

Tanya Plibersek (pictured left) acknowledged that ‘people are giving it a hard time’ before changing course and criticizing the previous coalition government and former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, with whom she acted

Ms Plibersek acknowledged that “people are taking it hard” before changing course and criticizing the previous coalition government and former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, with whom she acted.

“Barnaby’s gang said they want to keep wages lower. They said low wages are a conscious design feature of our economic architecture,” Ms. Plibersek said.

“We’re turning that around with higher wages, with people earning more and keeping more of what they earn, and other cost-of-living measures to help, with electricity, with childcare benefits, with all those things I mentioned.”

Mr Joyce argued that people were ‘better off’ under the previous government than under Labour, and that Anthony Albanese had ‘declined in popularity’.

“There are people who say, ‘I’m over it, I don’t want to listen to him anymore,’ because if you go on about intermittent power, ripped off factories and solar factories and every story about climate change, and you lose people when you start talking about the vote, Australia’s social change.

‘People just say, ‘You’re not focused on me.’

Mr Albanese has promised more domestic support in next month’s federal budget.


The third federal budget under the Albanian government will be approved on May 14 and several spending and policy announcements have already been made.


* A second surplus is still the target in 2023/2024, with the underlying cash balance for the 12 months to February showing a deficit of $6.1 billion

* The $22.1 billion surplus in 2022/2023 was the first in fifteen years

* The mid-term budget review forecast a deficit of $1.1 billion for the 2023/2024 financial year, down from the $13.9 billion forecast in last year’s budget

* Revenue increases from the past two budgets are unlikely to be as substantial due to falling commodity prices, including iron ore, and a weakening labor market

*Above target, but moderating inflation remains the key economic challenge for the budget, but the slowing domestic economy is also becoming a bigger priority

* A troubled Chinese real estate sector and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Europe are among the global challenges weighing on the budget


*Super is to be paid on government-funded paid parental leave and the details will be revealed in the Budget

* Nearly 500 burdensome tariffs will be scrapped covering a wide range of imported goods – full details will be in the Budget

* The revised phase three reform package is considered largely revenue neutral in the short term, but will increase tax revenues by approximately $28 billion in the medium term

* More “targeted” financial support for small businesses and households could be on the horizon


The Future Made in Australia Act will see public resources used to give viable zero-carbon industries and projects a head start so they can attract more private investment. More details are expected to be revealed in the budget, but initiatives laid out so far include:

* The $1 billion Solar SunShot program aims to boost the country’s solar panel manufacturing capabilities

*The $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program is intended to finance large-scale hydrogen production projects

* The total of $4 billion available under the Critical Minerals Facility is intended to supplement commercial financing and help get critical mineral projects off the ground

* About $400 million in loans have been announced for Australian company Alpha HPA to develop a high-purity alumina plant in Gladstone, Queensland. Funding will come in part from the Critical Minerals Facility

* Approximately $185 million in loans conditionally approved for Renascor Resources to accelerate phase one of a purified graphite project in South Australia

* The government says its net zero industrial policy agenda is underpinned by the National Skills Agreement, the National Reconstruction Fund, the establishment of the Net Zero Economy Authority and its drive to roll out renewables and boost innovation.