Today the Reserve Bank has cut the cash rate to new record lows and taken a number of extraordinary and welcome steps to support the Australian economy and financial system.
After five interest rate cuts in 10 months, the RBA has now committed to maintaining the cash rate at 0.25 per cent until progress is made towards full employment and it’s inflation target.
The Reserve Bank has also announced a new target for the yield on 3-year Australian Government bonds of around 0.25 per cent, to be achieved through a bond purchase program, and a term funding facility for the banks of at least $90 billion.
Labor welcomes the RBA’s unprecedented action and supports the complementary steps taken by the financial regulators and AOFM to reduce funding pressures and support lending.
Labor appreciates the ongoing engagement with the Reserve Bank and the financial sector, as well as their coordinated approach to supporting economic activity, liquidity and the functioning of markets during this challenging time.
These extraordinary economic challenges require extraordinary economic responses, and every decision maker in the economy has a role to play.
Today’s announcements are welcome but are not enough on their own to support the economy and protect Australian workers, businesses, families and communities that are already under immense pressure.
Coronavirus is already having a substantial economic impact, with evidence that businesses are closing, that workers are already being laid off and that vulnerable Australians are at serious risk.
Each day it becomes clearer that the Morrison Government’s first stimulus package was insufficient.
Now is not the time for half measures.
This unfolding economic crisis demands urgency, scale, and coordination among all of the decision makers in our economy.
Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg must implement their original stimulus package quickly and properly, and take additional steps as soon as possible to support the Australian economy and protect Australians.
Labor’s priority is to protect jobs, help Australian workers, businesses, families and communities through this difficult time, and ensure vulnerable Australians are supported.
Labor will continue to be supportive, responsible and constructive and that means injecting a sense of urgency where it is lacking or absent.