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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) but if it was worth the

diplomatic price. Politicians

on the House of Representatives

economics standing committee will grill the Reserve Bank

Governor today. It's likely

Glenn Stevens will be asked

about the official cash rate

and mortgage rates. James

Briggs is the deputy chair of

the standing committee on

economics and the Liberal

member for Mayo and he joins us

now from Canberra. Brig Premier

League good morning. Thank you for joining us. Good morning. What's upper most on

your mind. What do you want to hear this morning from the

Governor? It's always a good

opportunity at the biannual

hearing of the House of

Representatives economics

committee to hear what the Reserve Bank Governor thinks

how the economic is travelling.

How the banchs performing, and

the challenges for the future.

We know from yesterday Dr

Philip Lou one of the most

senior members of the bank described challenges with the reregulation of the labour

market and the pressure that's

putting on interest rates

through increased strikes,

particularly in Western

Australia. That is of course

corroborated today by a story

from Steve Lewis in a News

Limited papers which talks

about Japanese leaders warning

about increased industrial

action putting pressure on

their purchases of Australian

steel. So they're the sorts of

issues that we'll talk about

this morning, the pressures on

interest rates, from

particularly actions of the

Rudd Government. What do you

believe should be the correct

range for interest rates in Australia? Well, I think

interest rates are and have

been since 1996 set pi the

independent Reserve Bank, the

independence in codefied by the

agreement between Peter

Costello and Ian Mcfarlane, we

respect that very much however

what we say is that action of

the Federal Government do

impact on the level of rates.

Glenn Stevens in February 09 on

a speech on the 50th

anniversary of the Reserve Bank

talked about that if Governments spend too much

money it puts pressure on

rates. We know that if you have

increasing wage pressures, wage rates rising without

productivity gain, that also puts pressure on interest

rates. They're the sorts of

issues that we think the Rudd

Government is mishandling,

they're the sort of issues that

we'll discuss today with Glenn

Stevens and his colleagues from

the Reserve Bank. Sure and I

wasn't asking you to to in any

way impeach that independence.

It was more to speak about the

range if you think that the

level it might be heading to is

incorrect, what would you

prefer to see it as. Do you

believe as we have had for the

last few - more than months

really, more like a year and a

half, we've had interest rates

at so-called emergency

settings, do you believe that

those settings nonetheless even though they're emergency and

low it should remain

there? Well, look, the level

of... Do you see scope for it

to be increase and not to be

considered too high an interest

rate? The bank has indicated

that they consider that

residents are returning to what

they would describe as norm

levels and they won't put a

figure on what normal levels

are. There's obviously some

debate about what they are

normal levels. However, what

Glenn Stevens made very clear

is that outside factors do impact on the reserve's

decisions on moneyar policy and

those outside factors are

decisions that we make up here

in parliament. There are

obviously a range of other

issues in the broad broader

economic that impact on

monetary policy, however, what we concern ourself with

particularly is where we can

impact and clearly labour

market regulation is one of

those areas, and the a mount

disturb the settings and fiscal

policy is not and the indications from the Reserve

Bank in recent times are that

they are concerned, certainly

yesterday Dr Philip Low

indicating that he's concerned

with the dangers of increased

industrial action particularly

in Western Australia. Finally,

the Opposition feeling a bit

reinvaguated these days? I

think Tony is doing a wonderful

job. I think people appreciate

that he talks very frankly. You

never unsure where Tony Abbott

is coming from. I'm not sure

you can say the same for the

PM. I think that is really

given everyone a boost of spirits. Certainly on the

ground we're hearing positive

views on how Tony's performing. Out in the electorate he'd a

health forum earlier this week

in Victor Harbor, a beautiful

part of South Australia,

Virginia and we had many there

telling us that they're

disappointed that Kevin Rudd

had promised that he'd take

some action on hell and he

hasn't yet done so, so I think

people are disappointed after

2.5 years that all the lofty

promises that were made failed

to be delivered and Tony Abbott

is talking very frankly with them, putting a very clear alternative and has the lifted

everyone's spirits for