Senator Jacqui Lambie has made a grim prediction that the country is without a doubt heading to a recession, claiming a Sunday roast had become “a luxury”.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers will on Thursday deliver a revised economic forecast, detailing more financial pain is coming in the wake of high inflation and slowing global growth.
The financial pain is set to be exacerbated by a further hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank next month.
On Wednesday, the Australia Institute’s chief economist warned the Reserve Bank against hiking up interest rates to “keep up” with inflation or risk a recession.
Senator Lambie also issued a warning to the central bank on Thursday morning, as she made a bleak prediction.
“I just say to the Reserve Bank, there are many people out there at the moment that don’t have savings in their bank accounts, so it’s making it really, really difficult,” she said.
“The cost of living has gone through the roof and a roast lamb is now a luxury.
“I hate to say this, and I don’t want to say it, but let’s be honest here, we’re heading into a recession.
“It’s just what that recession is going to look like, and how bad it is … It’s really quite sad out there.”
Ahead of his ministerial statement on Thursday, Dr Chalmers attempted to dial down fears of a recession.
“(A recession) is not our expectation,” he told ABC Radio.
“It’s not one of the possibilities that we’ve been dealing with. I think Australians should brace for a difficult period, but we expect the economy to continue to grow, but so will our economic challenges.
“Things will be difficult. Inflation will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.”
Senator Lambie said the Treasurer and the Albanese government needed to urgently unveil a cost-of-living package.
“He’s going to have to … give (people) some room to move, some breathing space,” she said.
“Something will need to be done … People are doing it really tough out there.
“We’re in a world of pain … I think we need to open the discussion on those sorts of packages for the future.”