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Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has defended the Coalition’s record on wages growth ahead of Saturday’s federal election, claiming there’s “no magic wand” to fix challenges faced by everyday Aussies.

He was speaking on Today this morning after new data showed wage growth is worse than expected, at 2.4 per cent for the year to March, with inflation currently at 5.1 per cent.

Birmingham was probed about whether he could related to low income earners who were struggling as the cost of living continues to rise.

“I wonder if you have any credibility when you say you understand what it’s like out there for low income workers. Because effectively they’re losing $4,000 a year when you see inflation going up,” Today host Karl Stefanovic asked.

“There’s nothing to have going back in there wallets as a result. I just think that’s an enormous amount of money. At some point those wages are going to have to go up so people don’t slip below the poverty line.”

Birmingham said tax relief measures was helping ease cost-of-living pressures but the economy was being buffeted by “huge” global pressures.

“If we hadn’t put in place the tax relief that we had already provided to Australians, there would be around 50 bucks a week worse off at present.”

He said workers were able to claim up to $1,500 extra in tax relief.

Labor today will release its policy costings estimates.

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