Federal Election 2022: Scott Morrison Says Looming Interest Rate Decisions Are Not About Politics | News from the region

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Scott Morrison has played down the political implications of an impending interest rate hike as Labor prepares to blame the Prime Minister if the Reserve Bank pulls the trigger at a meeting on Tuesday. Australia’s central bank is expected to raise the historically low rate of 0.10% to try to counter the surge in inflation. The decision framed the political fight over the cost of living as the election campaign passes halfway. The Reserve Bank has not raised interest rates during an election campaign since 2007, when Liberal Prime Minister John Howard was ousted. Mr Morrison on Monday played down suggestions that a rate hike would hurt the Coalition’s chances in the May 21 poll. “It’s not about politics,” Mr Morrison told reporters after visiting a retirement village in the marginal Victorian seat of Corangamite. “What happens tomorrow is about what people are paying on their mortgages. That’s what worries me. That’s not what it means for politics.” “It’s not about me, or Mr Albanese. It’s not about the treasurer or the phantom treasurer. It’s about Australians themselves and the decisions they make.” Mr Morrison praised homeowners who had paid off their mortgages and “built buffers” when interest rates were low to protect themselves from an inevitable rate hike. “Australians know there’s pressure on interest rates. That’s why… so many of them have moved to fixed rates,” he said. “That’s why a lot of them have tried to get their mortgages ahead to make sure they’re protected, and we’ve helped them do that.” READ MORE: Labor Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers previously sought to weaponize the exchange rate decision in a bid to undermine the Coalition’s credibility in economic management. “Whether the Reserve Bank raises interest rates this week or next month, Scott Morrison’s economic credibility is in tatters,” Chalmers said. “This is the third wave of Scott Morrison’s cost of living crisis. It’s a triple whammy of falling real wages, soaring inflation and soaring interest rates. which are about to increase as well.”

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Leslie M. Gill