On Tuesday 25 October 2022, I made a speech in Federal Parliament about interest rate hikes and mortgage stress. You can watch the speech here or read the full transcript below.
E WATSON-BROWN: The RBA themselves have recently admitted that one in four mortgage holders are likely to go into mortgage stress after the latest interest rate hikes. In my electorate of Ryan, the median household—and that's thousands of families—will enter mortgage stress as these interest rate hikes are passed on. 'Mortgage stress' sounds abstract, but imagine if you were just making ends meet, having bought your first home on a low interest rate, maybe believing the RBA governor when he said then that interest rates wouldn't rise until 2024, and, bingo, you're now paying an extra $700, $800 or $1,000 a month. Where do you find that money? Wages aren't going up, but the cost of everything else is. This is all ostensibly to deal with inflation, but, when inflation is being driven by breakdowns in supply and corporate profiteering, how are interest rate hikes supposed to help?
You know what this is? It's a vast wealth transfer to the banks from everyday Australians. We're in a housing crisis, rents are skyrocketing and there's a criminal lack of supply of public housing, and yet the RBA is turning the screws on everyday people just trying to have a secure home. We need an immediate pause on interest rate hikes and we need genuine cost-of-living relief.