Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)
Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

What planet does Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe live on? Or, more accurately, what workplace is he in?

The governor, who spent most of the past five years urging big wage rises, has snapped back into a standard neoliberal groove and is hoping wages don't rise by 4-5%, he told the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia yesterday. Three and a half per cent was his preferred outcome.

He wasn't speaking from a point of view of equity, or of what households need to make ends meet, or of how families can afford to do the basics on average incomes, let alone the low-paid. Merely from that of inflation: “Three-and-a-half is the anchoring point that I want people to keep in mind."