The major driver for the lift in interest rates over the last 18 months is due to Labor’s immigration policy.
This increases demand which is working against the RBA trying to decrease demand. As a result of the increased demand from a higher population the RBA keeps increasing interest rates.
Albanese needs to get back to Australia and dial down the rate of immigration before households and small businesses go broke from higher interest rates.
Chamber: Senate on 6/11/2023
Item: MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE – Infrastructure
Senator RENNICK (Queensland) (17:16): The worst thing you could possibly do at the moment, given that we have a cost-of-living crisis and a housing crisis in this country, is to lift the rate of immigration to 500,000 people a year. I should add that, in the last quarter, it was actually 180,000 people who came to Australia. If that’s extrapolated over the next 12 months, we’ll be looking at closer to 700,000 people who are coming into this country.
Tomorrow, it looks like the Reserve Bank of Australia is going to raise interest rates yet again, driving more and more people into austerity in order to reduce demand. The former RBA governor Philip Lowe has said to me that he only deals with the demand side of the economy. He will not touch the supply side of the economy. That is why the other point of this MPI today is about cutting infrastructure, which is what the Labor government is proposing to do. It’s pouring fuel onto the fire of the immigration crisis that we have in this country. It goes to show that the Labor government has no idea how to run a country. Rather than raising interest rates tomorrow, what should really happen is that the Labor government reduce immigration. That way, hardworking Australians aren’t going to get hurt. What’s happening at the moment is that, as immigration rises, it drives up demand, and then the RBA comes along and lifts interest rates to push down demand. That is killing the very people that we are meant to be serving. It’s that type of mentality that has to stop.
The other thing is that, when you have a really high immigration rate, you have to build a lot of houses. We have a limited number of tradies in this country, not the least because back in the eighties, under the Button plan, the Hawke-Keating Labor government came up with the wonderful idea to send everyone to university and not to TAFE. So we already have a limited number of tradies in this country, but, if they are going to build, we want them to build not only houses but also factories. If we have too high an immigration rate, that allocates all the tradie labour—the skilled labour where you use your hands—from the actual building of factories, which can increase our manufacturing output and start to value-add to our raw materials that we’re so good at producing, to the building sector. That means we’ve got most of our skilled labour sector in this country working on building houses and doing the plumbing and things like that for houses instead of actually looking at improving and getting higher value manufacturing in this country.
I will conclude yet again that the Labor government needs to get a grip. It needs to lower immigration, increase infrastructure spending and start to get people back on the tools and out of universities and out of superannuation funds.