Opposition leader Peter Dutton and Defense Secretary Richard Marles briefly clashed during a heated debate on breakfast television over Australia’s economy and the cost of living crisis, which continues to cripple already ailing households.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has already warned that it may have to raise interest rates twice more by the end of 2022 to tackle the “scourge” of inflation.
Economists are also predicting that the federal funds rate – which is currently at 2.35 percent after a 0.5 percent rise this month – will rise another 50 points in October.
Treasurer Dr. Jim Chalmers warned again on Friday that the worst is yet to come for the Australian economy as interest rates in the United States rose to a 40-year high.
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Mr Dutton and Mr Marles appeared together on Nine’s Today to discuss the day’s breaking news and cost of living measures to ease the pressure on families.
Host Karl Stefanovic wondered if the Albanian government would go further on top of its cheap commitments for childcare and medicines in the federal budget.
Mr Marles argued that not only Australia but the world is facing “rather significant headwinds” in terms of cost of living pressures.
“We are looking at both North America and Western Europe with rising inflation, rising interest rates and even China’s economy is not performing as expected given their COVID-zero policy,” he replied.
“A decade – a lost decade of reform in our own economy has not positioned us well to deal with this moment.
“We’re confident that with a government that actually manages the economy and is focused on keeping the cost of living under pressure, we can get through this.”
Mr Dutton was asked if “it’s all your fault” as the coalition had been in power since late 2013 before Labor won in May.
He argued that “the fundamentals of Australia’s economy are stronger than in almost any other country in the world”.
“So, putting aside the rhetoric Richard just gave you about the lost decade and all that nonsense, increasing the pension was what happens every year,” he said.
“It’s indexed by CPI.
“Every government is thrown a curve ball. This is how the government of the day handles it. I worry that Labor will make a bad situation worse because they can’t handle money.
The opposition leader then proposed to the Albanian government for failing to bring forward July’s childcare allowance and fuel tax his party introduced when fuel prices soared due to the Ukraine war.
“The childcare support that Richard is talking about isn’t coming until the middle of next year. They’re raising petrol prices by 22 cents a litre,” added Mr Dutton.
“So when families need support, they don’t get it from this government.”