Letter writers debate if inflation and rising interest rates will make the rich richer and kick poorer people out of their homes – all while RBA board members fail to notice the pain they are causing. Pat Stringa, Letters editor
Jim Chalmers and the government cannot simply shrug off the idea of intervention in the interest rate fiasco as if it is out of bounds (“RBA’s autonomy paramount in choice of governor”, February 9). They won the election, not the RBA. It is wrong to think that some people should be made to suffer the loss of their homes and irrecoverable financial penalty so that a group of academics can achieve a certain set of economic indicators. If the costs and suffering of the fight against inflation cannot be born fairly across the population and across all sectors then we must find another way. It is an immoral and abhorrent value system that dismisses the pain of some as “unfortunate but necessary” while others feel nothing. Graeme Smith, Daceyville
Is the hidden agenda of inflation and rising interest rates to make the rich richer and to kick poorer people out of their homes into renting? This allows the rich to get even richer and more powerful. Roz Townsend, Queanbeyan East
Mortgage interest rates have now reached flash point (“Pressure high on Lowe for rate rises”, February 9). It can’t be denied that many people entered into mortgages on the strength of the Reserve Bank governor’s prediction on interest rate movements. It must be top of the list of things he wishes he never said. Ian Adair, Hunters Hill
The ongoing small interest increases by the Reserve Bank is analogous to the frog in the pot being heated slowly. The homeowners only react slowly as reality catches up with them. Perhaps a couple of higher rate hikes early would have had a reaction more like the frog being thrown into hot water. By the time the increase filters down to the punter trying to make the monthly repayments, the interest rates back at the Reserve Bank have been hiked beyond their future capacity to pay. All the indications are the bank’s latest predictions are as accurate as all the others they have made. But the board members will hardly notice the pain they are causing others. Typical. Chris Hennessy, Ballina
Raising interest rates is Philip Lowe’s only tool to keep inflation within the RBA’s target of 2 to 3 per cent. Back in my early days at the RBA, the bank could tell the banks what rate to set for specific purposes and had a full quiver of other tools at its disposal. We may well ask why the RBA was disarmed of those delicately used tools and left with a blunt axe. Lance Dover, Pretty Beach
Lowe has the unfortunate job of conveying bad news which results largely from both international and local political decisions. These are matters over which he has no control. Managing monetary policy is a reactive process, and Lowe and his employees have worked very hard at navigating a rather tortuous pathway. All congratulations to them because they are following the charter they were given by successive governments. Australians, however, typically shoot the messenger when matters develop in ways they dislike. They are unwilling to address the root causes of the problems.
Chris Rivers, Port Macquarie
More detail needed from Minns and Labor ahead of poll
Pokies reform might not match cost of living as an election issue, but that doesn’t mean it is unimportant to voters (“Winner takes all, or so Minns hopes”, February 9). Chris Minns’ equivocating attitude to such direly needed reform brings to mind T S Eliot’s lines: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason”. If Minns does decide to cooperate with the premier, as he should, it ought not be because it will help him win an election but for the right reason – that gambling can be so destructive of people’s lives and is too frequently associated with criminality. Ron Sinclair, Windradyne
It should not be too difficult for Minns to present winning policies for the state election. For starters, promise to not be in thrall to developers; we do not need native forests bulldozed for housing developments, we need a return to the environmental protection laws that were removed. We need a good and respected public education system, and that means a massive increase in funding for public not private schools. We need better pay for service industries, not just thanks to our nurses, teachers and police. We need a strong manufacturing industry; we should be able to build our trains and ferries in Australia. And if he can do something about housing and the cost of living that would be nice too. Nola Tucker, Kiama
As a northern beaches resident, I have heard little about the opposition’s policies regarding our area of Sydney.
So far, the opposition leader has concentrated on the western suburbs for all his announcements. Does he believe there is no point in making any policy announcements regarding the north shore or northern beaches; as we are too “blue ribbon” so unlikely to become an ALP seat?
As happened in the federal election, we want change and not to be taken for granted: no rail to the northern beaches, privatised hospital, buses and ferries.
Ignore us at your peril, Chris Minns: there are independents wanting to represent us. Eira Battaglia, Seaforth
When it was announced in 2014 that the Powerhouse would move to Parramatta the premier at the time claimed the sale of the Ultimo site would pay for a museum to “rival the Smithsonian”, with money left over (“‘Not like running a school tuckshop’: Perrottet, Minns clash in first debate”, smh.com.au, February 9). This was soon proved to be ridiculous, but the government is determined to carry it through regardless. This appalling situation would not have occurred if there had been reasonable financial oversight at the beginning.
The finance minister at the time was Dominic Perrottet. Tom Lockley, Pyrmont
Delivery cuts? Australia Post already suffering significant delays
The Australia Post boss has raised the possibility of less frequent letter delivery (“Delivery cuts an option as Australia Post faces loss”, February 9). Here I was thinking they had already started cutting delivery. None of the 30 local and interstate Christmas cards I posted on the same day at a post box in Dulwich Hill shopping centre last November reached their destinations. Now that’s a cut. Yes, I did complain on the phone and by email but the only advice I received was to register them. Christmas cards? Mary Lawson, Marrickville
Australia Post is partly culpable for the decline of its letter business. The street post boxes in this city’s CBD, if they are labelled at all, have a clearance time of noon, halfway through the business day. The once exceptional Express Post service is now a travesty. An Express Post parcel that I sent to a Sydney address in early December languished for five days in a mail centre 10 kilometres from its destination, before being delivered. Fifteen months after most of us have moved on from pandemic lockdowns, Australia Post still blames COVID for delivery delays and refuses to reinstate next day delivery with Express Post, yet it hasn’t reduced the premium price for this service. Their one bright spot is the post offices, with their friendly and knowledgeable staff and a wide range of postal and related services. Anthony McIlwain, Cairns North (QLD)
Apparently letters just don’t have the numbers. Peter Fyfe, Enmore
Humanity amid quake horror
The Wilcox cartoon and the photo that inspired it capture the horror and the heartbreak of the impact of a devastating earthquake (“Father grips lifeless hand of daughter beneath rubble”, February 9). The Turkish and Syrian tragedy has evoked a worldwide humanitarian response celebrating all that is good in mankind. The Ukrainian war 500km away shows similar images of destruction and human loss perpetrated by a demagogue in his lust for power, celebrating all that is wrong with mankind. Such opposites demand time for serious reflection. We cannot prevent such earthquakes, but surely Putin’s actions deserve the loudest possible condemnations at a trial for his crimes against humanity. Barry Ffrench, Cronulla
Jubilation and tragedy co-existing: the wonderful news that a newborn baby has been rescued from the rubble is tempered by the fact she faces an uncertain future without her parents and siblings, all killed in the earthquake. Joan Brown, Orange
GP pay a no-brainer
Most doctors are opinionated. The opinions will be varied. The government and the bureaucracy are looking for massive cost reductions, using improved care as a smokescreen (“Doctors on backbench urge faster Medicare fix”, February 9). However, whichever path we follow, let’s not throw the baby out with the suds. Following the British or American systems could be disastrous. Pay a wage – it’s called managed care – and doctors, who are humans, not demi-gods, will work as little as needed. Let’s have lots of experienced input, not just from Canberra ivory tower dwellers. Fee for service has worked well. Diseases have not changed that much. Let’s tread warily. Ashley Berry, Oatley
My GP cannot afford to employ a nurse any more. Labor has watched the previous government destroy Medicare year after year and needs to consider what to do regarding the GP problem. Paying what a GP is worth is a no-brainer, and for a new government not to have the fixed this issue immediately is a disgrace. Zuzu Burford, Heathcote
In my 40-plus years of practicing physiotherapy, only 5 per cent of my referrals come from a GP or specialists. Are there no incentives for the medical professionals to work with preventive medical practitioners? Is it because of more financial incentives elsewhere in the chain? Like drugs companies and imagery institutions? Micky Yim, Clovelly
NSW fails on feral horses
Bravo to Senator David Pocock for calling out the environmental devastation of the Australian alps caused by feral horses (“Pocock urges Plibersek to tackle brumbies in high country”, February 8). The urgency of this problem requires the federal government to rescue us from the current NSW government’s wilful neglect of the environment.
The Kosciuszko National Park should be a haven for our native species. However, I have seen for myself the plague proportions of horses, the stinking piles of horse excrement, and the alpine streams desecrated into muddy wallows.
The NSW Coalition has failed their responsibility of sustainable land management. Peter Moore, Newport
Voice louder than Thorpe
Sovereignty has never been ceded (Letters, February 9). The referendum is not a party political exercise. Lidia Thorpe is free to opt out of the Uluru Statement and out of the Greens Party but neither of these choices will affect the outcome of the referendum which circumvents party politics.
The Voice to parliament aims to be heard. Aboriginal people putting their needs to parliament for discussion and legislation. Otherwise, how?
Six years and more preparing for this coming referendum ought not to be squandered, particularly as the Voice is moving towards a society seeking justice. Mary Toomey, Rushcutters Bay
Your correspondent says, “we have two nations in Australia: an Aboriginal nation, and the rest of us”. Surely this makes no sense, if it implies that by birthright we are all assigned to one nation or the other. I also suggest that the meaning of “nation-membership” needs careful attention when it comes to the Voice to parliament. The way in which an “Aboriginal nation” is defined will determine the Voice’s constituency – the people being spoken for – and hence will have a strong bearing on the perceived legitimacy of the Voice itself. Mark Horn, Lane Cove North
Education for all
Education, including tertiary, should be free and available to all who have the ability and motivation to follow their dream (Letters, February 9). Affordability should not be the stumbling block. If it means raising the tax base so be it, as we will get the brightest and best go into the professions. Any investment in these people will pay back the country many times over. Denis Suttling, Newport Beach
The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Michelle Rowland’s $8960 Rockpool election-eve fundraising dinner paid for by Sportsbet
From Wrangler: ″Let’s just ban political donations altogether. It’s the only way to ensure politicians act for the voter, not the donor. It would mean taxpayer funding but it would be money well spent.″
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/time-to-consider-intervening-on-interest-rates-20230209-p5cj5m.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Time to consider intervening on interest rates