The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

8 June 2012

Doorstop Interview

Brisbane

SUBJECTS: ANZ passing on the full RBA interest rate cut, Greenpeace ad

TREASURER:      

We've got good news for ANZ customers today. The decision from the ANZ to pass the rate cut through in full to both home loans and business is certainly welcome. But I think what it does is throw the gauntlet down to the other big banks in particular to pass this rate cut through in full.

Here in Queensland you’d be aware that one bank, the Queensland Mutual Bank, has already passed the rate cut through in full. I think we need to see a pass through in full from the other major banks in the days ahead.

JOURNALIST:    

Do you think this is a result of government pressure?

TREASURER:      

Well I think that ANZ have decided to give their customers a fair go. But the fact is that the decision from the Reserve Bank to cut rates is the result of disciplined budget policy in particular, and the Reserve Bank’s assessment that inflation is contained. It demonstrates why the government’s decision to come back to surplus is so important, because what it does is give the Reserve Bank flexibility when it comes to monetary policy. We have now had the equivalent of five interest rate cuts since last November. If you’ve got a $300,000 mortgage for a standard variable rate, you are now paying something like $3,500 a year less in repayments than you were when the Liberals were last in government.

On top of that, we’ve had a week of very good economic news. We’ve had a rate cut from the Reserve Bank, we’ve had very solid and strong results in the National Accounts, strong employment growth, and now out today this pass through from the ANZ.

It’s been a week of good economic news for the country and a week of embarrassment for Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey who just go and talk our country down every day of the week.

JOURNALIST:    

Would you encourage customers to move to the ANZ?

TREASURER:      

The government’s put in place a range of measures to enhance competition and make it easier for customers to walk down the road and get a better deal. I think customers will walk down the road and get a better deal if they don't see the full pass through from the major banks following this decision from the ANZ. They will rightly be very upset with their bank, if we don't see a full pass through from the major banks.

JOURNALIST:    

(inaudible)

TREASURER:      

I haven’t seen the art work, I haven’t seen the facts of the matter, I’m not going to comment on it.

What I’m dealing with here is a week, an exceptional week in the life of the Australian national economy where the hard work of millions of workers and small businesses has really paid off. We’ve seen interest rate cuts, we’ve seen strong GDP growth, and we’ve seen strong employment growth.

We’ve seen all of that in the face of global uncertainty. I think it’s a week for Australians to say that it’s a good week for Australia, and I’m proud of what Australians have achieved over the past few months.

JOURNALIST:    

On a matter of national economic importance, do you have a view on Greenpeace taking up ads in Asian newspapers, urging people not to invest in Australia?

TREASURER:      

Well I think that’s deplorable. We don't need Mr Abbott, Mr Hockey or anyone else talking down our economy.

Australia’s a great place to invest, and indeed investment in Australia is growing strongly. You can see that in the National Accounts, you can see it in the half a trillion dollar investment pipeline in resources in particular. The government is determined to ensure that investment remains strong by having good economic settings, by bringing our  budget back to surplus, by making sure we’ve got tight fiscal policy and making sure we make the investments in infrastructure to ensure that we’re not only prosperous, but we can spread the benefits of the boom right around our economy.

JOURNALIST:    

(inaudible)

TREASURER:      

Well I think it’s deplorable and it should be condemned and I do condemn it in the strongest possible terms. The government is committed to a strong investment pipeline across our resources industry, which is why we are also determined to put in place strict environmental safeguards.

Now we’ve had to pull the Queensland Government into line on that question this week, but we certainly don't need to see this sort of obnoxious behaviour from Greenpeace.

Thank you.