Jim Chalmers' wish for a fight over the cost of living may have been granted.
In November on ABC's Insiders, Dr Chalmers puffed his chest over a possible duel between the two major parties on which side of politics would be able to combat rising cost pressures.
"I would absolutely welcome that," he said about a cost of living fight.
"I would be absolutely delighted to have an election about the cost of living, and real wages going backwards."
That day has come. Surging inflation at levels not seen in 22 years has put cost of living back as a front and centre issue for the May 21 election.
On Wednesday, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed headline annual inflation had jumped to 5.1 per cent, spurred on by supply chain disruptions and spooked oil markets in wake of the Ukrainian conflict.
Both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer claimed global factors adding inflationary pressures were outside government control.
But Labor was unfazed.
Dr Chalmers, Jason Clare, Kristina Keneally and Amanda Rishworth wasted no time blaming Scott Morrison for higher prices, falling wages and not addressing rising housing affordability in Australia.
Labor's treasury spokesman even went as far on ABC Radio National to say inflation would be lower under an Albanese government.
He walked those comments back somewhat during press briefings on Thursday, saying the context was about government needing to prioritise wage rises and job stability.
National security following the China-Solomon Islands deal and living pressures are two issues Labor believes it now trumps the Coalition on, And Anthony Albanese's resurrection from COVID-19 is poised to capitalise on the traction both topics are attracting.
Mr Albanese's economic knowledge began off shaky following his unemployment blunder.
But using tangible examples such as the cost of going to the supermarket and filling up the car could work in his favour, putting key Labor election pledges at the front of voters' minds.
This particularly rings true for the party's commitments to bringing down the cost of childcare and energy prices.
Labor also has the advantageous position of putting the alarming inflation figures on the onus of the government, potentially blaming the Coalition for an earlier than expected rate hike.
A rate hike during an election hurt John Howard and the same rings true for Scott Morrison, who has repeatedly said interest rates under Labor would be higher.
Mr Albanese's big event this weekend is his West Australian launch. Perhaps the issue of cost of living pressures shifting up a gear may be the momentum Labor needs to secure an election win?
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