Rates hold no relief for struggling Australians in uncertain times

Tuesday, 19 March 2024

The Reserve Bank’s decision to hold interest rates at 4.35% will be cold comfort to hardworking Australian families whose living standards have collapsed under the Labor Government.

Real disposable incomes have collapsed by 7.5% per capita since Labor came to power, through a combination of price increases outpacing wages, rising taxes and rising mortgage repayments.

For mortgage holders, it’s even worse.

After 12 interest rate rises under the Albanese Labor Government, a household with an average mortgage of $750,000 is paying an additional $24,000 a year in interest and there is no sign of relief on the horizon.

The RBA’s Statement of Monetary Policy forecasts that inflation will not return to the midpoint of the target range until 2026.

Stubborn, entrenched inflation is a consequence of a government that has failed to take the cost-of-living crisis seriously.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said there is no sign of the situation getting any easier for hardworking Australians.

“The reality is, Australians’ living standards have collapsed by thousands of dollars. This is money they will never get back, and there is no sign the government is committed to reversing this situation.

“As a result of Anthony Albanese’s poor economic management, inflation won’t be at desired levels for at least two more years.

“As the RBA has today recognised, hardworking Australians are facing a highly uncertain economic future.

“The Prime Minister started the year by declaring that cost of living will be his top priority.

“All he has had to offer so far is the mother of all broken promises, and a band-aid to a bullet wound.

“Australia is experiencing a GDP per capita recession and a consumer confidence recession. We are experiencing the slowest two quarters of consecutive GDP growth in almost 18 years, outside of the pandemic.

“Labor’s failures on workplace relations, energy, housing and tax are driving up the cost of living for all Australians. This is a government at war with aspirational Australia.

“Strong economic management - not broken promises - is the only way to provide relief to middle Australians from Labor’s cost of living crisis.”