The results of tonight’s Australian Election will set the climate agenda for one of the world’s worst per capita emitters of carbon dioxide.
Much of this is beyond any government’s control, but the winners will still be under pressure to ease the cost-raising crisis, without further stoking inflation.
They are going to be blamed if interest rates rise so quickly that they tip the economy into recession when that is supposed to be a matter for the independent central bank.
So far, Labor’s center-left opposition appears set to end the nine-year rule of the conservative-liberal National Party in the May 21 election, though a hung parliament is also in sight.
Labor promises to bring the rising cost of living under control by backing corresponding wage growth, putting pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who could only promise that wages would eventually rise if unemployment fell.
At this point and at a time when inflation is already at a peak of 5.1% and is expected to peak at 6% by the end of this year, it would raise an average repayment by more than $700 a month.
Prices are sliding in Sydney and Melbourne, and the RBA has warned that values could fall by 10-15% if mortgage rates were to rise by 200 basis points.