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Treasurer responds to dour inflation, growth

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has addressed Australia's confronting inflation numbers and the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) substantial global growth downgrades at a Canberra press conference.

Unsurprised to see inflation north of 6%, Chalmers warned that already high levels of inflation would continue to rise and that it would get tougher before it starts to ease. Government forecasts expect inflation to peak towards the end of the year, before moderating next year.

While attributing the inflation in the economy to primarily global factors, he announced the government is very focused on domestic factors as well.

Chalmers said the government is focused on dealing with supply chain issues that are pushing inflation up in Australia. This domestic focus will pertain to labour shortage problems and a lack of supply chain resiliency.

Chalmers went on to describe the IMF's forecast of a global growth slowdown as "very concerning."

"The global economy is treading a precarious and perilous path," he said.

Chalmers cited sharp central bank intervention to combat US inflation, China's management of COVID and Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine which has entailed dire energy, and food security consequences.

"Inflation will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better," Chalmers said.

"Some of these other challenges with the right policies and the right mindset and the right approach and with some degree of patience will turn around for us as well but it's going to be a difficult time ahead."

Later, Chalmer's explained the government's position on its draft changes to super disclosure rules.

As previously reported by Financial Standard, in July, the government released for consultation draft regulations outlining changes to super funds' disclosure requirements.

This move attracted stark criticism from senator Andrew Bragg who said minister for financial services Stephen Jones released draft regulations to hide super fund political donations and their payments to unions.

On winding back some protections and information that consumers get from current disclosure rules, Chalmers responded: "We want to end the ideological war on super."

"The big opportunity, not just for the government, but for the country is to recognise that superannuation is one of the things that we've got going for us."

He added the government simply wants to make sure that the regulatory arrangements are right.

"We want to make sure that superannuation is being paid, we want to make sure we get to that 12% superannuation guarantee," he said.

"At some point, I'd like to find a way to responsibly fund paying it on paid parental leave."

Chalmers furthered that there was now an opportunity to do much in super, especially as they were no longer caught up in a "ridiculous ideological war on industry super."

"We created super, we're proud of it, it's not perfect, there are ways to improve it," he clarified.

Read more: InflationIMFInternational Monetary FundJim ChalmersAndrew BraggChinaCOVIDRussiaStephen JonesUkraine