New inflation figures were a worrying indication of persistent price pressures, Australia’s largest and most representative business organisation said today.

“These cost burdens will only worsen under the government’s proposed industrial relations changes,” ACCI chief of policy and advocacy David Alexander said.

In the September quarter, Australia’s annual inflation rate dipped to a 12-month low at 5.4 per cent from 6 per cent in June. However, the monthly inflation rate saw a notable uptick, from 4.9 per cent in July to 5.6 per cent in September 2023. This was the highest level since April.

“These statistics highlight that the Australian economy is still navigating through uncertain waters, particularly in light of ongoing instability in the Middle East,” Mr Alexander said.

“Geopolitical uncertainty is poised to sustain the upward pressure on international oil prices, particularly in automotive fuel prices which has significantly contributed to the recent uptick in monthly CPI.

“Businesses remain under pressure, with tight margins and high cost of doing business, and we urge the Reserve Bank to take this into account during its deliberations about future interest rate settings.

“The government has admitted that the Same Job, Same Pay legislation will have a deleterious impact on the cost of living, but downplays its significance.

“These added inflationary pressures need to be treated seriously by policymakers.”

Uber has warned prices could increase by up to 85 per cent through the legislation. Menulog says it could be forced to increase prices by up to $15 a delivery. DoorDash has warned that the average food delivery cost for families could more than triple under the government’s laws.

“The government’s Bill will add to inflationary pressures by increasing the cost of labour hire, gig economy, and road transport contracting,” Mr Alexander said.

“These increases in inflationary pressures are entirely avoidable and we encourage parliamentarians to reject these misguided IR changes.”

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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