Shoring up the economy will be on Scott Morrison’s mind as he meets with colleagues in the aftermath of the coalition’s election victory.
The prime minister will gather some of his ministers in Sydney on Wednesday, while Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to catch up with Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe.
Dr Lowe confirmed on Tuesday the central bank’s board will consider cutting the official interest rate when it meets in a fortnight, to reduce unemployment and boost inflation.
“A lower cash rate would support employment growth and bring forward the time when inflation is consistent with the target,” Dr Lowe said in a speech to the Economic Society of Australia.
Mr Frydenberg, after meeting with treasury officials, stressed the economy is facing headwinds but its fundamentals are sound.
“We will take all the action that is needed to ensure the Australian economy remains strong.”
The treasurer is also expected to meet with officials at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, a day after the regulator revealed it was considering easing lending criteria for banks.
APRA has proposed dumping a guideline that customers should be able to pay back their loan if the interest rate was hiked to at least 7.0 per cent, leaving it up to lenders to decide their own floor rate.
The economic focus comes as it remains unclear exactly when Australians will get the extra relief the coalition has promised them.
Mr Morrison has made legislating the tax cuts its top priority, but is at the mercy of the Australian Electoral Commission on when they can bring parliament back.
Parliament can’t sit until the AEC returns the election writ to the governor general, which is due by June 28.
In a helpful twist for the government, the Australian Tax Office says it can retrospectively amend tax assessments to provide cuts if the laws pass after June.
The agency could also make administrative changes to provide tax cuts, if the opposition backs them.
Labor backs the coalition’s planned doubling of a tax offset for low and middle income earners.
But it has taken issue with the later stages of the coalition’s tax plan, which will flatten the tax rate to 30 per cent for everyone earning between $45,000 and $200,000.
“I don’t think tax cuts for low and middle income Australians should be held to ransom by the rest of the government’s agenda,” Labor’s Andrew Leigh told ABC Radio National.