Labor helps keep rates low: Swan


Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan concedes the economy's shift from reliance on mining investment won't be seamless, but he says the government's responsible approach to fiscal policy will help keep interest rates low.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) holds its monthly board meeting on Tuesday.

Economists generally expect the central bank to keep the base rate on hold at an all-time low of 2.75 per cent after the surprise reduction in May.

"The RBA will take its decision independently, but the facts speak for themselves - interest rates are lower under Labor," Mr Swan said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Under Labor, Australia has achieved record-low interest rates, while our economy has emerged as one of the strongest in the developed world."

He said a family with a typical $300,000 mortgage is around $5500 a year better off than when Labor came to office in 2007, after rates were jacked up 10 times on the trot under the Liberals.

Mr Swan said the economy was in transition, as the resource sector moves into the production phase and the broader economy moves towards non-mining drivers of growth.

"While this transition won't be seamless, mining investment still remains at very high levels and it's encouraging to see the benefits of lower rates flowing through to parts of the economy, such as the underlying improvement in housing activity," he said.

He said the government was supporting the transition by taking a responsible approach to fiscal policy that put jobs and growth first, while giving the RBA room to keep interest rates low and ensuring productivity-enhancing investments for the future would be delivered.

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it's actually quite unbelievable how he will take credit for anything, the reserve bank in their minutes said that they were lowering rates to try and devalue the $, now they need to do that for 2 reasons, 1. because Labor spent their forecast revenue already, so with a lower $, mining exports are higher in value and the revenue shortfall lower 2. for sectors of the economy that are struggling with the high $ and in addition the economy isnt doing fabulously and they are trying to stimulate it, now if I was Wayne Swan, I wouldn't be running around trumpeting Labor's 'achievement' in keeping rates low, at the end of the Howard government, rates were comparatively high due to the fact that the economy actually was doing well!
Exactly M C M, low rates does not equal a healthy economy! Sad that our nation's Treasurer does not see this. Thank goodness he will lose his seat at next election.
Rates higher than they are currently, were previously described by Swan as "emergency" during the GFC. Now he tries to take credit for destroying the economy. What a Goose.