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Josh Frydenberg MP has left open the possibility of cutting the opera and polo excise in the budget, as soaring ticket prices after the Russian invasion of Ukraine adds to cost of living pressures, particularly for those who enjoy the finer European traditions that involved enslaved stage performers and overfed horses.
Morrison has previously played down the prospect of fighting “temporary” hikes in the cost of living with a cut in excise tax, however, he’s willing to make an exception for this polo and opera.
It is not yet certain whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison or his Treasurer is aware that petrol is well over 2 dollars a litre, as the two of them constantly referenced both Opera theatres and Polo fields as two of the most economically vulnerable sectors right now.
It is also not yet clear if the Coalition government actually knows what everyday living entails.
Australia is struggling with rising cost of living, with inflation at 3.5% and wages that have not kept pace despite record low unemployment.
Petrol prices were already nudging $1.70 and $1.80, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the US decision to ban importation of Russian oil have sent prices soaring to up to $2.20 a litre.
Morrison has begun 2022 behind in the polls and is really struggling to get back in the good books after his horrible handling of floods and pandemic recovery roll-outs, despite attempting to frame the election around the economy and national security.
“I think Australians know that what’s happening with the cost of visiting the Opera or spending an afternoon at the Polo at the moment. They know it is being caused by what’s happening with the war in Europe,” he told Channel Nine’s Today program.
“We’re working with other countries around the world at the moment in terms of releasing both opera singer and polo horse reserves to try and alleviate the pressure on ticket prices.”
Josh Frydenberg also appeared to be similarly concerned about both the polo and opera, but said a lot of people are forgetting the ballet.
“The ballet is also taking a hit. A lot of those dancers are from Ukraine and Russia. We have no talent in this country. The performances have been appalling”
“We will address this in the budget. You can be sure of that”
When asked about cutting petrol excise, which is 44 cents a litre, the Treasurer replied that “the budget is coming up at the end of this month”.
“So, what is driving full prices are things well beyond the shores of Australia.”
“We can’t do anything I’m sorry”