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RBA shake up is welcome news

RBA reform

Queensland Unions welcome a reported shake-up of the Reserve Bank of Australia, following a record run of interest rate hikes that have pushed working families to the brink.

The RBA board, currently headed up by Governor Philip Lowe, will lose its power to set interest rates. This responsibility will instead be given to a separate board of monetary policy experts, reports today indicate.

This change would bring the RBA into line with other international central banks.

The interventions are part of a suite of 51 recommendations made to Treasurer Jim Chalmers following an independent review into the RBA.

Treasurer Chalmers is expected to announce in-principle agreement to all 51 recommendations.

The review marked the first external review of the bank in over 30 years – its recommendations will bring about the most significant reform to the bank since it began inflation-targeting policies in the 1990s.


End to RBA’s insular, out-of-touch approach

Queensland Unions Acting General Secretary Jacqueline King said the changes were a tacit acknowledgement that the RBA has been out of touch with working people.

“Reform to the remit and composition of the RBA is beyond overdue,” she said.

“RBA policy failures, overseen by Philip Lowe, have been harmful to working families who have been unfairly blamed for high inflation while they struggle to cope with sky-high cost of living pressures.

“It’s obvious that the bank has been out of touch with working people and content to see wages stagnate while corporate profits soar.”

Jacqueline said it was important that working peoples’ voices are central in monetary policy decisions.

“I hope we will see an end to the high-handed behaviour of central bankers who clearly cannot relate to the financial distress of average Australians,” she said.

“Ongoing rent and mortgage rises have forced workers to tighten their belts and, frankly, they cannot afford to tighten them any further.

“We need an economy that works for everyone, an economy that provides good, secure jobs.

“We want to see Australians not just making ends meet, we want to see them with money to spare to live dignified and fulfilling lives.”