ACOSS welcomes decision to hold rates, calls for fresh RBA agreement with the Treasurer to protect and grow jobs

ACOSS welcomes the RBA’s decision to again hold the official cash rate at 4.1%.

The peak body says the impact of the 12 cumulative interest rate hikes since May 2022 is becoming increasingly apparent, hitting people on the lowest incomes the hardest and putting jobs at risk.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie is urging the government to reach a new agreement with the Reserve Bank on monetary policy, based on a clear commitment to full employment.

“We warmly welcome the Treasurer’s commitment expressed last week to ‘create an economy where anyone who wants a job can get a job without searching for too long’,” Dr Goldie said.

“Ready access to decent paid work is vital for people who are unemployed, for young people leaving school and for parents returning to the paid workforce. Over time, it means wages can start growing again and jobs are more secure.

“Jobs should no longer be needlessly sacrificed to curb inflation through aggressive interest rate hikes that raise the risk of a recession.

“ACOSS remains deeply concerned that interest rate hikes already announced are expected to lift unemployment to 4.5% next year – that’s another 150,000 people out of paid work.

“ACOSS is urging the government to tackle inflation directly instead of relying on the blunt instrument of interest rate rises

“This includes coordinating the better regulation of rents, the scrapping of Stage 3 tax cuts, and preventing some businesses in private market sectors from using their monopoly positions to keep lifting prices.

“We must also fix the protections for people hit by unemployment and poverty, including raising the rate of JobSeeker so it is adequate to cover the basics and not a barrier to employment.”