Australian Economy

Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese campaigns continue; RBA flags more interest rate rises; John Howard questions Labor housing policy, Super Home Buyer Scheme criticised by independents

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned that Australia’s economy will be hit by rising prices, war in Europe, supply disruptions and pandemic shutdowns in China after May 21, whoever wins the federal election.

And in an economic stump speech to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Morrison highlighted his government’s pandemic response, its commitment to keeping the government’s tax take as a proportion of GDP at or below 23.9 per cent and the Coalition’s housing policy announced on Sunday.

Scott Morrison addresses the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

Scott Morrison addresses the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.Credit:James Brickwood

“Australians have prevailed through the biggest global health pandemic in a century,” he said.

“But it hasn’t just been about saving lives … From the outset, we had two goals: save lives, [and] save livelihoods, because we understood the pandemic was like a meteor, an economic meteor hitting our country, hitting our world.”

He added: “We’re putting this pandemic behind us and all the intervention of government in our lives that came with that.”

Morrison emphasised the choice Australians faced on May 21 and the risks posed to the Australian economy by an uncertain global economic environment that was putting pressure on the cost of living, with oil prices increasing by more than 50 per cent and wheat prices rising by 65 per cent since the start of the year.

But Morrison said: “Inflation is the challenge and that’s why when you’re dealing with things like that, you’ve got to know the things you can’t control, global events, global forces, oil prices, wars in Europe, disruptions in supply chains and pandemic shutdowns in China.

“All that’s happening after May 21, one way or the other, that’s not going to change.”

The lunch for about 250 guests, held in a function room at Crown Casino, heard that under his government, the cost of private health insurance had risen more slowly, the instant asset write-off had been utilised by businesses to invest in new capital equipment and that the government had protected jobs at the height of the pandemic.

Polling day, Morrison said, gave Australians “a choice between a government that knows how to manage money and a Labor Party that won’t even tell you what its policies cost”.

“We know we haven’t been perfect; who has, in a one-in-100-year event, but I tell you what, each time, every time there are challenges, we just get straight back in there and fix it and get on with it.”

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