Karl Stefanovic slams Anthony Albanese for refusing to comment on interest rate rise while overseas


Karl Stefanovic hits out at Anthony Albanese’s ‘cop out’ behaviour in Indonesia: ‘Is that really going to cut it?’

  • Karl Stefanovic slams PM after he refused to comment on major interest rate rise
  • Anthony Albanese said he wouldn’t be commenting on domestic issues overseas
  • Today Show host asked if that was going to cut it when ‘pockets are burning’
  • Queensland senator Matt Canavan described the PM’s response as a ‘cop-out’

Karl Stefanovic has slammed Anthony Albanese for refusing to comment on the major interest rate rise while overseas in Indonesia as Aussies struggle with the skyrocketing cost of living.

When Mr Albanese was questioned by media at a press conference in Indonesia on Monday, he point blank refused to answer any questions about the rise.

‘I said on day one, I will not be responding to domestic matters while overseas,’ Mr Albanese said. ‘I’ll leave that to [Treasurer] Jim Chalmers.’

Mr Stefanvoic said Mr Albanese’s refusal to answer was a dated response. 

‘It’s the Bob Hawke defence. But that was back in the ’80s. Hawkey was going clubbing all night. I don’t think Anthony Albanese’s doing that,’ Stefanovic said. 

‘Is that really going to cut it when Aussie pockets are burning?’ the host asked his guests, Queensland senator Matt Canavan and 2GB Radio’s Chris Smith. 

'Is that really going to cut it when Aussie pockets are burning?' Stefanovic asked his guests, Queensland senator Matt Canavan and 2GB Radio's Chris Smith

‘Is that really going to cut it when Aussie pockets are burning?’ Stefanovic asked his guests, Queensland senator Matt Canavan and 2GB Radio’s Chris Smith

‘I think that’s ridiculous, Karl. We live in a connected world where we can do these sort of crosses from anywhere in the world,’ Mr Canavan replied. 

‘It’s not like he’s not getting reports. Is he waiting for a fax to come through or something about the Reserve Bank minutes?

‘I am sure he has a phone. He has access to email. He should be commenting. 

‘He should be up to speed with these issues and in tune with what the needs are of the Australian people.’

The senator slammed the PM’s response as a ‘total cop-out’ and said he hoped the policy didn’t continue during his time as leader. 

Stefanovic agreed that Mr Albanese appeared to be ‘ducking questions’ on the 0.50 per cent jump from the Reserve Bank of Australia, no matter what kind of rationale was behind it.

Smith added his lack of comment on the biggest rise in 22 years was ‘rubbish’ and said the crisis was hitting ‘everyone’s back pocket right now’.

Mr Albanese has returned from his first trip to Indonesia as prime minister, bringing with him the chief executives of some of Australia’s largest companies. 

The leader pledged on Monday night to put trade and investment with the southeast Asian country at the heart of Australia’s regional and international agenda. 

However, he had less to say about the Reserve Bank’s decision to hike interest rates.

The 0.50 per cent jump comes after the Reserve Bank moved rates by 0.25 in May to curb spiralling inflation, which hit 5.1% in the first quarter.

The change in rates mean Australians paying off a $600,000 home at a variable rate will now have to handover about $127 a month more with their repayments going from $2,890 to $3,017.

Mr Albanese pledged on Monday night to put trade and investment with the southeast Asian country at the heart of Australia's regional and international agenda (pictured on Tuesday)

Mr Albanese pledged on Monday night to put trade and investment with the southeast Asian country at the heart of Australia’s regional and international agenda (pictured on Tuesday)

The 0.50 per cent jump comes after the Reserve Bank moved rates by 0.25 in may to curb spiraling inflation, which hit 5.1% in the first quarter (stock image)

The 0.50 per cent jump comes after the Reserve Bank moved rates by 0.25 in may to curb spiraling inflation, which hit 5.1% in the first quarter (stock image)

Treasurer Jim Chalmers admitted the rising costs would hit Australian families hard.

‘This will be very difficult news for all of those Australians who are already facing the skyrocketing cost for living in this country,’ he said in Brisbane on Tuesday after the rates rise was revealed.

‘This cost of living crisis has been brewing for the best part of a decade. It will take more than two and a half weeks to turn around.

‘We have an incredibly difficult combination of challenges – high and rising inflation, rising interest rates, falling real wages…

‘Our ability to respond to these challenges is constrained by the fact that the budget is absolutely heaving with Liberal debt.’

If banks pass on the increase in full, Australians paying off a $600,000 home at a variable rate will now have to handover about $127 a month more

If banks pass on the increase in full, Australians paying off a $600,000 home at a variable rate will now have to handover about $127 a month more

The Big Four financial institutions including the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB all raised interest rates in line with the RBA last month and are expected to do the same again in a move that will cost the average homeowner $2000 a year.

Further rapid-fire rate hikes are widely predicted to follow every month until at least the end of the year.

Economists had widely predicted the cash rate to lift by 0.25 or 0.40 per cent with the shock move indicating inflation could be even worse than first thought.

At the same time, supply chain chaos still lingering on the heels of the Covid pandemic is adding to the problem.

For Australia, the recent floods and bitterly cold weather has also impacted on food production and energy demands.

Why do interest rates need to rise?

The most basic principle of economics is supply and demand.

When supply outstrips demand prices will fall, but when demand is great and supply is scarce the cost of products will rise.

That’s why something rare and in demand like gold is expensive, whereas something bountiful such as potatoes is relatively cheap.

This rule also applies to money itself.

Huge Australian government stimulus during Covid totalling more than one third of a trillion dollars – at a time of record low interest rates – has meant there’s more money competing for the same amount of goods and services.

The extra supply of cash is what’s now driving up prices (along with a range of other global factors including the war in Ukraine and supply chain chaos in the wake of the pandemic).

But by raising the cash rate and making money harder to borrow, it should limit the supply of money and help bring prices down.

Cold comfort to those forced to shell out more on their mortgage.

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