Prime Minister Scott Morrison targets small businesses and pensioners as race heats up
In the fringe seat of Boothby, South Australia, the Prime Minister focused on pensioners and self-funded pensioners on Wednesday.
Those voters flocked to the Coalition in the last election because of Labour’s now abandoned postage credits policy and Mr Morrison wants to lock them in.
They should benefit from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to raise interest rates this month and in the coming months. Mr Morrison urged banks to pass on the rate hike to deposit accounts as well, not just mortgages.
“Given that banks have always passed on higher interest rates very quickly to mortgage holders, they should be just as quick to ensure that these changes are passed on to deposit holders like those we are dealing with. are here today,” said.
He also announced that the presumptive rate cut that was made in response to falling interest rates during the pandemic-induced recession will remain at those levels for at least the next two years.
This would allow retirees to earn more on their investments as rates rise, without having their benefits reduced.
Speaking to pensioners at a retirement village in Boothby on Wednesday, Mr Morrison called the move a “shield” against the rising cost of living.
“You all remember interest rates very differently,” he said in reference to the 17% many paid on mortgages during the Hawke/Keating years.
“These levels now, rates have been very low and that has had an impact on people’s retirement savings. We have been very attentive to the pressure on self-funded retirees.
A few days earlier, the Prime Minister lowered the income thresholds which determine eligibility for the Commonwealth Elderly Health Card, meaning at least 50,000 more elderly people will be eligible for the concession card which gives them discounts on medicines and other essentials.
Boothby is SA’s only fringe seat. Despite numerous fiery attempts by Labor to win it, the Liberal Party has held it since 1949.
This time, however, he is seen as the most vulnerable, aided by Independent Jo Dyer who will strip some votes from Liberal candidate Rachel Swift and send preferences to Labor Louise Miller-Frost.