Greens to fight to keep government interest rate power


Greens Leader Adam Bandt and Treasury spokesperson Senator Nick McKim have said the Greens will fight the proposal to remove the Treasurer’s power to overrule the RBA’s decisions to set interest rates.

The government has given in-principle support to Recommendation 1.1 of the RBA Review released this week, which proposes removing the democratic safeguard that currently exists in Section 11 of the Reserve Bank Act 1959.

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:

“It seems Labor wants to use this review to further shirk its responsibility to deal with the housing crisis. Labor needs to keep the government’s power to override the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decisions, especially in a crisis.

“In the middle of a housing and rental crisis, there is a real risk the Reserve Bank is going to ruin lives and undermine our collective future with further rate rises. 

“If Labor washes its hands of the inflation problem and outsources it to the Reserve Bank, it risks more pain for people already doing it tough.

“Tackling the cost of living and housing crises needs more government intervention, not less.

“Instead of shifting towards social democracy, Labor’s change further entrenches neoliberalism.”

Quotes attributable to Greens Treasury spokesperson Nick McKim:

“Instead of getting rid of his existing power to set interest rates, the Treasurer should be using this power right now to help renters and mortgage holders by freezing interest rates.

“The Greens will vigorously oppose this fundamentally anti-democratic policy.

“This safeguard was put in place by Ben Chifley and kept in place by Robert Menzies.

“But Jim Chalmers has swallowed the technocratic kool-aid.

“If the Section 11 safeguards are removed the government would have no recourse over an RBA board that goes rogue.

“Removing democratic oversight would be the final capitulation to neoliberal groupthink and would totally cede monetary policy to the central banker’s club that has done nothing to stop rising inequality or the breakdown of the planet’s climate."