Josh Frydenberg wage stagnation
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Crikey readers don’t have much time for Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s attempts to divert from the government’s economic short-falls. His newly announced interest rate inquiry didn’t come as much of a surprise — just another example of the LNP’s short-sighted steering of the economy. Elsewhere, readers discussed the media’s selective championing of free speech, which doesn’t seem to extend to climate protesters.

On banking inquiries

Ray Sanderson writes: No we don’t need another bank inquiry into passing-on interest rates to borrowers. This is another populist stunt from the master of distractions to deflect attention from the fact that the past 6.5 years of LNP government have been a period of doing nothing. The LNP doesn’t want to take on the hard economic reforms that we need, they just want to keep winning elections using smoke and mirrors to fool the public. But the reckoning is coming. Most reputable economists in the US predict an 80% chance of a global recession by mid 2020. Morrison is totally unprepared by not taking action to boost our economy now to reduce the effects of recession.

Robert Edgerton writes: From an LNP treasurer this has to be the most ludicrous inquiry announcement ever. The banks are public companies with boards accountable for maximising return to shareholders within laws of the land. Effectively any bank only makes profit via the differential between the interest rate it loans money at and the interest rates it pays depositors (or other financial institutions for borrowed money). This is totally independent of any pronouncement of the RBA. If Labor had done this the LNP would ridicule attempts to control the private sector right to operate as necessary to remain profitable within law.

Paul Maynard writes: The banks do pass on the cuts straight away: to savings deposits. They are a cost to the bank. To lenders, well they’re providing income so go soft on them. The lifters (savers) not the leaders (debtors) are doing all the work. And build infrastructure while we have cheap money? Don’t be absurd. Not the feds anyway.

On media bias

Jim Feehely writes: The conventional media’s appalling bias in respect of Extinction Rebellion protests is not just a double standard, it is outright hypocrisy. But that is not the point. Those in the media decrying the inconvenience of XR protests will never even attempt to reconcile the issues of public demands for effective governmental action on the causes of climate change with freedom of speech because they are no longer in the business of publishing balanced reporting and comment. Any attempt to reconcile these two things would expose their naked hypocrisy to the uncritical reader/viewer.

Barnes Graham writes: The right of dissent is the linchpin of democracy. The popular penny press seem to have lost sight of this — a sad case of opportune amnesia caused by over-enthusiastic right wing barrow pushing.

Peter Hannigan writes: One of the dangers of treating non-violent protestors as the equivalent of terrorists is to lower the barrier to real terrorism. Out-of-proportion punishment that is simply repression by governments that do not want to take serious action on climate change is likely, in time, to bring on violent eco-terrorism. Sadly the media would deplore it while lovingly reporting it.

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