Australia news LIVE: Majority back Voice to parliament; interest rate rises add $120b to budget bill

Key posts

  • Skyrocketing interest rates carve $120 billion budget hole
  • Voters back Voice amid uncertainty on details
  • This morning’s key headlines at a glance
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Skyrocketing interest rates carve $120 billion budget hole

Soaring global interest rates will add more than $120 billion to the federal budget’s long-term interest bill, putting at risk government services and infrastructure proposals while increasing pressure on Treasurer Jim Chalmers to make early spending cuts.

This masthead can reveal the rise in interest rates causing pain to millions of home buyers is punching a substantial hole in the structural integrity of the federal budget.

Jim Chalmers’ October budget is expected to show an increase in interest costs of more than $120 billion over the coming decade.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

When Josh Frydenberg released his version of the 2022-23 budget in March, the interest rate on 10-year government bonds was around 2.3 per cent. Now, due to global inflation fears, they are about 3.8 per cent.

The 1.5 percentage point increase is affecting a record level of gross government debt which last week was at $884.6 billion. Another $4.1 billion, including $800 million that will not be repaid until 2023, is to be sold to investors this week.

It is translating into much higher interest payments.

Read the full story here.

Voters back Voice amid uncertainty on details

Australians have backed the idea of an Indigenous Voice by a clear majority of 64 per cent in favour of draft wording from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to give First Nations people a more powerful say in national affairs.

The first survey on the wording the prime minister put to Indigenous leaders in July shows support for the hard-fought change is strong enough to secure most voters in most states in a referendum to amend the constitution.

But the exclusive survey also highlights a weakness in the argument for change because many voters are unsure about the practical benefits of the Voice and have relatively soft views in favour or against, raising the prospect of a sharp change if the “yes” case does not have bipartisan support.

More on the latest polling here.

This morning’s key headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, September 26. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • Labor is expected to introduce legislation for a national integrity commission this week. It comes after concerns from the crossbench that the legislation might not be passed this year. Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has indicated the Coalition will support the bill following “constructive” talks with the government.
  • Veterans’ Affairs Minister Matt Keogh will soon outline funding for more departmental staff and housing as part of the government’s formal response to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
  • David Crowe writes that a clear majority of Australians back the PM’s draft wording for an Indigenous Voice to parliament.
  • Shane Wright reports that skyrocketing interest rates are adding more than $120 billion to the federal budget’s long-term interest bill.
  • And in international news, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry has ridiculed Russia’s partial mobilisation of army reservists. And violent protests have erupted outside the Iranian embassy in London.
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