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Ross Gittins on the government's 'surplus obsession'

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

The Australian economy is growing slowly, with people not opening their purses and businesses uncertain about the future.

The Reserve Bank has cut interest rates three times this year - the official cash rate is currently at a historic low of 0.75%. Many are arguing monetary policy has run its course, and fiscal stimulus is needed. This week’s Essential poll[1] shows voters tend to think so as well, with 56% agreeing that stimulating the economy should be prioritised over getting back to budget surplus.

The Morrison government, however, is reluctant to do anything impinging on the projected surplus, which has become a political icon for it.

How long can the government maintain this position if the growth numbers don’t improve? And does action need to be taken now? Joining Michelle Grattan to talk about these issues is Ross Gittins, economics editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Podcasts are often best enjoyed using a podcast app. All iPhones come with the Apple Podcasts app already installed, or you may want to listen and subscribe on another app such as Pocket Casts (click here[2] to listen to Politics with Michelle Grattan on Pocket Casts).

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Additional audio

A List of Ways to Die[3], Lee Rosevere, from Free Music Archive.

Image:

AAP/ Mick Tsikas

References

  1. ^ Essential poll (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ here (pca.st)
  3. ^ A List of Ways to Die (freemusicarchive.org)

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/politics-with-michelle-grattan-ross-gittins-on-the-governments-surplus-obsession-126028

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