Opposition leader Peter Dutton and Defense Secretary Richard Marles briefly clashed during a heated breakfast television debate about the Australian economy and the cost of living that continues to cripple already struggling households.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has already warned that it may need to raise its interest rates two more times before the end of 2022 to fight the “scourge” of inflation.
Economists also predict that the spot interest rate – currently at 2.35 percent after rising 0.5 this month – will rise another 50 points in October.
Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers again warned on Friday that the worst was yet to come for the Australian economy as interest rates in the United States rose to their highest level in 40 years.
Stream more Australian news with Flash. 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends October 31, 2022
Mr Dutton and Mr Marles appeared together on Nine’s Today to discuss the top news stories of the day and the cost of living to ease the strain on families.
Host Karl Stefanovic wondered if the Albanian government was going ahead with the federal budget on top of its cheap childcare and medicines.
Mr Marles argued that not just Australia, but the world faced “pretty big headwinds” in terms of cost of living.
“We are looking at both North America and Western Europe, with inflation rising, interest rates rising and even the Chinese economy not performing as expected given their COVID zero policy,” he responded.
“A decade – a lost decade of reforms within our own economy has not positioned us well to deal with this moment.
“We are confident that we can get through this with a government that will actually manage the economy and focus on cost-of-living pressures.”
Mr Dutton had his mind set on whether “it’s all your fault” as the coalition had been in power since late 2013 before Labor’s victory in May.
He argued that “the foundations of the Australian economy are stronger than almost any other country in the world”.
“So, put aside the rhetoric Richard just gave you about lost decade and all that nonsense, the pension increase was what happens every year,” he said.
“It is indexed by CPI.
“Every government gets a crooked ball thrown at them. It’s how the government of the day handles it. I’m afraid Labor will make a bad situation worse because they can’t handle money.
The opposition leader then took a swipe at the Albanian government for failing to advance the childcare subsidy from July, nor going ahead with the fuel tax his party introduced when gasoline prices rose largely due to the war in Ukraine.
“The childcare allowance that Richard is talking about won’t come in until the middle of next year. They are raising petrol prices by 22 cents a litre,” Dutton added.
“So if families need support, they don’t get it from this government.”