On Tuesday 28 November 2023, I made a speech in Federal Parliament on the impact of rate rises and the real causes of inflation. You can watch the full speech here or read the transcript below.
RBA governor Michele Bullock says you shouldn't go to the dentist or the hairdresser because you'll cause inflation. I've got a dentist appointment this Friday, I'm so sorry, Michele. Before she became governor, Michele Bullock was sitting on an $828,000 salary; it'll be a million dollars now. I'm thinking of the woman in my electorate who has told me that, because of the interest rate rises, she's had to stop buying meat for her family for dinner. It's beyond insulting for someone on a million dollars to tell her that she has to forgo seeing the dentist—which she probably already can't afford—or the hairdresser. No-one is telling Coles or Woollies to make sacrifices—record billion-dollar profits. No-one is telling the Commonwealth Bank to make sacrifices—record $10 billion profits. But millions of everyday Australians are told to make sacrifice after sacrifice.
Labor wants to give the Michele Bullocks—unelected technocrats—more power by removing the elected government's ability to overturn bad RBA decisions. Here's what they should do instead: first, compel the RBA to pause interest rates; second, implement a tax on excessive corporate profits and scrap the stage 3 tax cuts; third, tackle price gouging; and, finally, deliver immediate cost-of-living relief. They could start by bringing dental into Medicare so everyone can see the dentist.