Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has dismissed demands by the Coalition opposition for re-regulation of interest rates as being “absurd”.
Not all Coalition MP’s are united in their support of such measures, with one Liberal suggesting the idea came from the “lunatic fringe” before being made aware that it came from within his own party.
The opposition is pushing for the Federal government to take Australia’s major lenders to task over interest rates, accusing the government of being all talk and no action.
Australia’s major lenders have signalled their intention to raise their standard variable home loan rates, despite the fact that the Australian central bank held interest rates steady at the start of the month.
Tony Abbot, leader of the opposition said that the government was ineffectual. Joe Hockey shadow Treasury spokesman said that the major lenders were not listening to warnings by the Treasurer on interest rates, despite the fact that the government enacted policy which helped prop up the banks during the financial crisis.
Mr. Swan, in his response to calls for re-regulation said: “an absurd intervention from Mr. Hockey, who was asked time and again (in an interview) what he would do differently, and had no answers, just incomprehensible bluster”.
“Just last week we had the shadow finance minister advocating the government intervene with the floating dollar, and now we have the shadow treasurer saying we should jump in the time machine and remove the RBA’s independence by re-regulating interest rates,” he said.
“No wonder Joe Hockey has no economic credibility, not even Malcolm Turnbull or Don Randall from his own party are prepared to support his latest piece of ill-considered rubbish.”