The cost of fighting the cost of living
Despite both major parties claiming they'll fight to stop increases in the cost of living, neither are likely to deliver with the parliament they've been handed.
Current jockeying by Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard for independent and Greens Party votes necessitates some accommodation of their policy priorities.
But almost all will result in increases in retail prices or taxes.
The most vocal independent seeking appeasement for his support, Bob Katter, has a bug bear with the Coles and Woolworths "duopoly".
Many Australians may superficially support Katter because of concerns that the "duopoly" has on prices, but the evidence doesn't support these concerns.
Following the Rudd government's election it directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to complete an inquiry into grocery prices.
The Commission concluded there was nothing wrong with retail price competition resulting from the dominance of the two major chains.
Instead the real problem was at the wholesale end of the industry.
Katter's beef with the major supermarkets is that their market size ensures they can negotiate hard and buy agriculture produce at lower prices from his producer constituents.
But the flipside is that grocery prices are lower for consumers.
And strangling the two majors will increase prices.
The ACT government implemented a policy that Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, claimed would "lower prices" by limiting Coles' and Woolworths' capacity to develop new stores in Canberra.
But an analysis of the ACT Treasury's own data on supermarket prices showed that promoting other retailers would have the reverse affect and increase the price of an average basket of groceries by up to $13.45.
The reason is simple - the two majors are the most competitive players in the market on price.
By limiting their growth in favour of higher cost competitors on puts upward pressure on prices.
And the cost of Katter's call for tariffs and trade bans on certain agriculture imports like bananas will result in less competition allowing producers to squeeze more profits from consumers.
Fewer imports will also make Australian processed food manufacturing less competitive in Australia and our export markets.
Thankfully Gillard has ruled out increasing tariffs, and Abbott would face an open revolt inside the Liberal Party if he did. However Labor's record since 2007 has been to compensate tariff cuts with increased subsidies to industry which ultimately gets paid out of taxpayer's pockets".
Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott, has previously expressed strong support for an emissions trading scheme that would introduce a new tax on a vital input into the production of everything - electricity.
And with Member for New England, Tony Windsor, Oakeshott also supports Labor's $43 billion National Broadband Network which will have to be repaid by tax dollars.
And these cost of living pressures don't take account of the costs of policies proposed by the Labor, Liberal or Greens parties.
During the campaign the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry announced Labor's action on illegal timber imports policy, including making it an offence to import illegally harvested wood.
The commitment mirrors Labor's 2007 unimplemented policy to deliver "greater policing and enforcement of an effective national ban on the sale of illegally logged timber imports".
Yet earlier this year a government commissioned report by the Centre for International Economics concluded "Australia's imports account for about 0.034 per cent of global timber production, and 0.34 per cent of products incorporating illegally logged timber".
The same report concluded that trade restrictions would be ineffective and cost more than they are worth.
According to Labor's news release announcing its policy they didn't need to include costings because "there will be no impact on the budget from this important initiative".
The costs of compliance for a non-problem would simply flow through to consumers and the Australian domestic industry which will become less competitive in export markets.
And despite the stated goal of the Greens Party that it wants the "elimination of housing-related poverty", their opposition to land release and burdensome building regulations will stop an increase in affordable housing supply.
For the high number of young people voting for the Greens Party, the cost of their policies will be felt when they enter the housing market and demand for affordable housing continues to outstrip supply.
The only policies that would actually contribute to cutting the cost of living were the Liberal and Labor small business tax cuts of 1.5 per cent.
But Labor conditioned their cuts on the passage of their now dead mining.
If the Coalition achieve government Abbott has aspired to further tax cuts once the budget is returned to surplus.
But Abbott's tax cuts will only slow the upward increase on the cost-of-living that come at the price of securing government.