Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has been accused of appropriating Girl Math to justify the increased cost of Australian passports. He better not have! This is an outrage and we simply will not stand for it.
As announced on Thursday, the cost of renewing your Aussie passport will increase due to indexation (a price bump according to inflation) on January 1 2024.
Then, on July 1, an extra $50 will be added to the cost taking the total to approximately $400.
Meanwhile, Kiwis pay $192 and Canadians $179 for a passport lasting the same amount of time per SBS.
The validity of a newly renewed passport is 10 years.
Previously, a fresh one would’ve only set you back $325, which sounds borderline cheap by the new price’s standard.
Naturally, Australia’s man-in-charge-of-the-money Jim Chalmers hopped on the mic to explain himself.
“The new cost of an ordinary Australian adult passport is still less than $40 a year over that 10 year period,” the Queensland MP said.
Reassuringly, one of the top comments on The Age’s TikTok of the press conference was, “Did he just girl math passport cost?”.
Yes, yes he totally did.
For context, Girl Math is a concept that went viral across the world this year but was first concocted by New Zealand comedian Hayley Sproull on her radio show.
It’s essentially a way to justify any purchase by using deliberately hyperbolic (and often hilarious) reasoning.
It’s all a bit of fun and supports the idea that you should totally treat yourself, even if the thing you want is a little pricey.
Here’s where it gets interesting though.
Many of the segments would see Sproull using “cost per wear” instead of “upfront cost” logic.
For example, if you wear a nice jacket 100 times, it’s not $500, it’s actually only $5 per wear.
The issue with Jim Chalmers employing a similar logic is that he’s coming from a completely different financial perspective – that of the wealthy ruling class.
It’s the equivalent of your boss using Girl Math to cut your hours at work.
The July 1 passport price bump (separate to the indexation) is estimated to raise around $349 million for the government over three years.
That’s $349 million during one of the worst cost-of-living crises in recent history.
This sentiment was summed up nicely by another of the top comments on the original video, “can I get a relatively modest pay rise then?”.
Girl Math is not for the Ritchie Riches of society. It’s for those who don’t often splurge on themselves!
Hands off Girl Math, Mr Chalmers.