Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected suggestions an interest rate hike could hurt him on polling day, saying Australians understand the impact of global inflationary pressures.
The Reserve Bank is expected to on Tuesday hike the cash rate for the first time in 12 years after inflation surged to a 20 year high of 5.1 per cent.
Mr Morrison, who will start the day campaigning in Melbourne, said voters understood inflationary pressures and would back who they believed were better economic managers.
“They know there are pressures that are coming from outside of Australia on interest rates,” he said on Monday.
When asked if rising rates could damage the coalition’s electoral chances, Mr Morrison accused journalists of looking through a “totally political lens”.
“I don’t. And Australians don’t,” he said.
“Australians are focused on what they are paying for and who they think is going to be best able to manage an economy and manage the finances, so they are in the best possible position to realise their aspirations.”
Opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said there was a “full-blown cost of living crisis and Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg haven’t got a plan beyond the election”.
“Scott Morrison’s failures have dealt Australians a triple whammy of skyrocketing costs of living, falling real wages, and now interest rate rises either this week or next month,” he said.
“When things are going well in the economy Scott Morrison takes all the credit, but when Australians are doing it tough he takes none of the responsibility.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese will start the day in Sydney.
Meanwhile, the Seven Network has secured the third and final leaders’ debate, which will be broadcast on May 11.
Seven’s political editor Mark Riley will moderate the event.
Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese will square off at the second election debate on Channel Nine on Sunday.