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EXPERT COMMENT: Damning poll reveals 77 per cent want RBA boss Philip Lowe to resign over interest rate fiasco

The fallout from Philip Lowe’s interest rate “apology” is growing, with the overwhelming majority of Aussies now calling for the RBA boss to face the music.

On Monday morning, Dr Lowe issued a stunning apology to Australians who took out a mortgage – during a period of record property prices, no less – based on the Reserve Bank’s repeated insistence that the official cash rate would not increase until 2024.

But instead, the RBA has announced seven aggressive, consecutive interest rate hikes since May this year, with Finder’s latest Cash Rate Survey revealing 88 per cent of experts expect it to rise yet again when the board meets on Tuesday next week, which would bring the cash rate to 3.10 per cent.

Speaking at a Senate estimates hearing, Dr Lowe said it was “regrettable” that Australians “listened to what we said” – leaving many gobsmacked.

“I’m sorry that people listened to what we said and then acted on that and now find themselves in a position they don’t want to be in,” he said.

“Looking back, we would have chosen different language. People did not hear the caveats. I thought it was clear … but the community didn’t think it was clear. Well, they thought it was clear we weren’t raising rates until 2024. That’s a failure on our part.”

A poll of nearly 13,000 readers in the wake of Dr Lowe’s apology has since revealed a whopping 77 per cent believe he should resign as a result of the interest rate debacle.

Meanwhile, a number of prominent Australians have also called on Dr Lowe to step down, including United Australia Party politician Craig Kelly and Greens senator Nick

McKim, who told the apology was too little, too late.

“While Dr Lowe has rightly apologised, it will take more than that to rebuild the trust and credibility the RBA has lost under his leadership,” Mr McKim said.

“There is no doubt that Dr Lowe has got to go. The RBA induced people to borrow record amounts of money in the belief that interest rates would not rise until 2024.

“We have now seen seven consecutive months of rate rises which have been crushing for mortgage holders, renters and small businesses. It is the people who can least afford it who have been hardest hit.”

Meanwhile, public relations expert Nicole Reaney told Dr Lowe’s apology was cold comfort to those experiencing mortgage stress.

“When the announcement was made back in 2020 that rates would not rise, something like 300,000 Australians took out loans six or more times their incomes,” she said.

“Consumers made big personal decisions that affect their livelihood based on the information they received from the RBA.

“This is also coming off the back of very disruptive and uncertain times with the pandemic – consumers were counting on this assurance. This has a detrimental impact to Philip Lowe’s reputation.

“His apology only skimmed the surface in that it didn’t equate to the bearing these rises are having on the public. It didn’t offer any sincere empathy or even any avenues those in financial distress can explore.

“It just presented the error and left people to solely navigate their own financial futures.”

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Nicole Reaney, Director of InsideOut PR and founder of influencer agency, #AsSeenOn. Nicole has extensive experience in corporate and consumer PR and Communications and is available to comment on topics.

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