B105 Breakfast 09/06/22

09 June 2022

SUBJECTS: Interest Rates; Costs Of Living; Supply Chains; State Of Origin.  






SUBJECTS: Interest Rates; Costs Of Living; Supply Chains; State Of Origin.  

ABBY COLEMAN, HOST: You guys know how much I love a Treasurer and I’m just so excited. I’ve asked to speak to him because I think this is pretty cool that we have a Treasurer here in Queensland. Jim Chalmers, good morning.

JIM CHALMERS, TREASURER: Good morning. That’s really kind, thanks very much.

COLEMAN: You’re a Logan boy born and bred, correct?

CHALMERS: Absolutely. Yep, proudly.

COLEMAN: I can’t remember the last time we had a Treasurer who lived in this state.

MATT ACTON, HOST: In Brisbane, yeah.

CHALMERS: Wayne Swan was the last one from the north side of Brisbane.  

ACTON: Northside.

CHALMERS: But definitely never anyone from Logan.

COLEMAN: Now, you’ve got a big job as well, because I guess we’re all talking about the cost of living at the moment and interest rates going up. Does it feel like we had this time during the pandemic where the Government was sort of spending a lot – and you’re allowed to say whatever you want because it’s the previous Government, but sort of spending a lot to sort of stop us getting in a hole, but we’re now kind of paying for that?

CHALMERS: That’s part of the story, but it’s not the whole story. We actually had a heap of debt even before the pandemic and sometimes people try and say, if it were not for the pandemic everything would have been fine, but a lot of the challenges that we inherited from the other guys have been brewing for the best part of a decade, not just the last couple of years, and the amount of debt in the Budget is just one of those challenges.

ACTON: The World Bank came out this week and is throwing the word “stagflation” around, which is a terrible economic term. Are we worried about stagflation in Australia at the moment?

CHALMERS: No. I think Australia’s economy still has every chance to be pretty strong in the medium term, but first we’ve got a really bad combination of things going on. We’ve got – and everybody driving to work understands this – high prices for petrol, electricity and gas. We’ve got high prices for groceries. People’s wages haven’t been keeping up and, unfortunately, a lot of those challenges will get worse before they get better so the next maybe 6 or 12 months might be pretty difficult for people. We’ve tried to be really upfront about that. But there’s no reason why the Australian economy can’t be strong after we get through this difficult patch.

ACTON: I always enjoy talking to a Treasurer because I love to know, you being a married man, you’re obviously going to run the budget for our country, but how does it go in the household with trying to have monetary conversations with your wife, or is she in charge of that?

CHALMERS: We share it, and we try to share the bills around, but to be honest after the election campaign I had a bit of catching up to do on some of those bills. I made it just in time before the lights got shut off.

COLEMAN: She’s like, “What would you know? Oh, wait a minute.”

ACTON: If you come home with a new toy or something that’s worth a bit of money she’s like, “Mmm, where did this come from?”

CHALMERS: That’s right. We don’t talk a lot about surpluses and deficits at home. We try to keep the wheels of the household budget – 

COLEMAN: It’s not really that romantic.

ACTON: No, it’s not. “We’re staying at home. We’ve got a deficit for the weekend.”

COLEMAN: “Look at this spreadsheet!”. We’re talking about interest rates, and I guess the whole idea of the Reserve Bank trying to put up interest rates, people might kerb their spending or try to deal with inflation, do you feel like they’re going to be able to do it with the two increases that we’ve had, or we’ve got more to come?

CHALMERS: Unfortunately, they’ve indicated themselves – they’re independent, we don’t make those decisions – that people should brace for even higher interest rates. That makes that tough for people. If you have an average new mortgage, I think it’s $157 a month just on this week’s decision, and so it will tighten the screws on the household budget at a time when, as I said before, people are already paying skyrocketing prices for the essentials in their household budgets.

COLEMAN: What do you actually think it will peak at?

CHALMERS: I try not to get into predicting that because people would assume wrongly that I’ve got – 

ACTON: Inside information?

CHALMERS: Yeah. But they said themselves that they will go higher at some point this year. If you look at the market, a lot of people are paid a lot of money to monitor these things, and the universal expectation of all of those guys is that it will be higher than they are now by the end of the year.

ACTON: The big question, though, Jim, that a lot of people want to know regarding the budget and the state of the finance in Australia: When will KFC get lettuce back instead of cabbage?

CHALMERS: I got asked this the other day as well.

ACTON: It’s important, Jim!

CHALMERS: It’s a huge issue. The point I made was I think if you’re going to KFC looking for green food, you’re probably in the wrong place.

ACTON: The comments of Jim Chalmers do not reflect the comments of the radio station.

CHALMERS: I think if you want green food, there’s lots of other options. No‑one in the drive‑through, I don’t think, is worried about whether they get lettuce, not cabbage, on their Zinger.

COLEMAN: Did you have any bets with MPs in New South Wales with State of Origin last night?

CHALMERS: I didn’t have any bets, but I was at the ground. I went with Anthony Albanese, a very prominent New South Wales supporter, of course.

ACTON: Who’s that guy?

CHALMERS: He took it well. Anthony is actually a bit of a luck lucky charm for me. I’ve only been to the footy with him twice this year. Once where the Broncos got over Souths at Suncorp in Round 1 and then last night as well. So, if we keep up that kind of form when Anthony and I are at the footy, I’d happily go with him every week.

ACTON: Does he get on it and have a few when he watches the game?

CHALMERS: No, he probably has one.

STAV DAVIDSON, HOST: He’s a one‑pot screamer, Matty.

CHALMERS: He’s a genuine Rugby League fan so it was great going to the game.

ACTON: Jim, thanks for your time this morning, mate.

COLEMAN: Really appreciate it.

ACTON: Local Logan boy, now the Treasurer of the country. Really appreciate you coming on and we’ll be chatting with you again soon.

CHALMERS: That would be great. Have a good day, guys.