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AWU WA Branch Secretary: RBA’s ‘hollow victory’ is only hurting workers

May 10, 2023

Inflation is falling, spending has slowed and Australia has pulled the handbrake.

Yet we remain forced to watch this car crash in slow motion, along with many of us in the front seat taking the full impact.

In addition to the current cost of living crisis around Australia, in my view Western Australia has a heightened level of exposure and impact due to our isolation (economic and social).

And at times like these, the tyranny of distance is placing further pressure from all angles like a nightmare we can’t awake from.

Now the cash rate is at the highest level since April 2012 at 3.85 per cent — when exactly will the Reserve Bank of Australia stop hiking rates?

Why would the RBA deliver false hope with a recent pause but then follow that up by ripping the rug out from under the feet of hard-working Australians?

The latest 0.25 per cent increase will push many beyond their breaking point and create a level of financial distress that not everyone will survive.

As I interact first-hand on a daily basis with thousands of members and workers on the frontline, I can clearly see that the stress of dealing with these financial pressures is becoming too much.

RBA boss Philip Lowe receives a yearly salary package of more than $1 million, but at the same time he continues to raise interest rates for hard-working white collar and blue collar workers — appearing to simply ignore the countless concerns raised by a large number of growing voices.

How hard do we all need to hurt so the RBA can achieve its victory? A victory that I believe will be ultimately hollow.

Brad Gandy is the State secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union WA branch and a Baldivis local

This opinion piece first appeared in the Sound Telegraph in May 9, 2023.

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