Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Opposition hammers Swan over inflation figure -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The economy posted a higher-than-expected inflation rate for the June
quarter, again putting interest rates in play and sending the dollar to a post-float high above

As he's done all year, the Treasurer blamed the price increases on the series of natural disasters,
but the Opposition says Mr Swan is running out of excuses.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden reports from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: With some consumers paying $14 a kilo for bananas, Wayne Swan says the
economy still hasn't shaken off the effect of floods and cyclone in Queensland.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: The dominant factors over two quarters are natural disasters.

TOM IGGULDEN: Monthly inflation jumped to just under one per cent to end the financial year. The
annual rate's up to 3.6 per cent, the highest in more than three years.

But Wayne Swan's not worried by the figures.

WAYNE SWAN: They won't be repeated unless we are unlucky enough to have another very significant
natural disaster.

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: Next quarter I fully expect Wayne Swan to claim that the dog ate his
homework. I mean, he's going to come up with every excuse every quarter.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Reserve Bank's been hosing down expectations of a rate increase later this year.
With a dramatic spike in the Aussie dollar to 29-year highs, markets have already priced in a rate
increase off the back of the inflation data. Political opinion is more divided.

JOE HOCKEY: The alarming aspect of these inflation figures is that we are now seeing a trend
towards higher inflation.

WAYNE SWAN: When you strip out those one-off factors underlying inflation is around the mid-point
of the Reserve Bank's target band.

TOM IGGULDEN: But core inflation is higher than expected and that's going to be a concern for the
Government. Cost-of-living pressures are a key battleground in the carbon tax debate and an
inflation breakout would make an already unpopular policy even more so. The Treasurer's already
acknowledging consumer confidence has taken a battering.

WAYNE SWAN: And also impacting on our economy is the uncertainty that flows from events which are
happening both in Europe and in the United States. And of course some of this has been made worse
by some of the scare campaigns that have been run by the Leader of the Opposition.

TOM IGGULDEN: But the Treasurer says the fundamentals of the economy are strong, with low
unemployment and high business investment.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.