More pain in store as cost of living predicted to rise

The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas has highlighted comments in the Reserve Bank statement released today that indicate more interest rate rises are on the way, and again called for the State Government to recognise the impacts this is having on the cost of living in Western Australia.

“The minutes indicate at least two more rises in coming months and include a technical assumption of the cash rate reaching around 3.75%” Dr Thomas said.

“The ninth interest rate rise in a row was announced earlier this month, lifting the official cash rate to 3.35%.”

“These rises have added almost $12,000 to annual repayment for households with an average $500,000 mortgage.”

“Given the reserve bank has been lifting the rate with 25 basis points jumps, it will take two more rises of this size to get to the indicated target.”

Dr Thomas said that there was an increasing proportion of the WA community struggling with the impact on their family budgets, but that the State Government remained wealthy with an iron ore price that remained high, which is still pumping rivers of cash into Mark McGowan’s coffers.

“Iron ore prices have remained resiliently high, with today’s price around US$125 a tonne. This has given the Government a massive boost in royalty income, and a prospective real budget surplus this financial year of over $4 billion despite the Premier’s sneaky attempts to hide his revenue.”

“His money bin is still filling up.”

“The Premier has repeatedly rejected our calls to freeze government fees and charges, opting instead for untargeted cash handouts” Dr Thomas said.

“If this is the only path, he is willing to go down, I hope we are looking at another dose in this year’s budget in three months, and I hope any support is better targeted.”

“He is sitting on more than $20 billion in surpluses over five years, so he can well and truly afford to give some back to struggling households.”

“No Government in Australia, perhaps the world, has a greater capacity to help its struggling citizens.”