The Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese campaigns continue; RBA signals further interest rate hikes; John Howard questions Labor housing policy, Super Home Buyer Scheme criticized by independents

Journalist James Massola filed this dispatch after three days of campaigning with the Prime Minister and his wife Jenny Morrison.

Three days, three subdivisions in three marginal seats.

Scott MorrisonThe objective of the last week of the 2022 election campaign is clear.

Scott Morrison in the Blair, Corangamite and Lingiari housing estates.Credit:SMH, Getty Images

The Prime Minister’s visit to a housing estate in Armstrong Creek in the Victorian seat of Corangamite – 1% margin – was his third of the election campaign and his fifth since December last year.

So did the Queensland headquarters of Blair (detained workers, 1.2 per cent margin), which he visited on Monday and Lingiari (detained workers, 5.5 per cent margin) in the NT, which he visited Tuesday is the kind of seat Morrison must win if he is to retain the premiership.

Perched near the corner of Serenity and Rarity streets, the nearly-completed house provided the prime minister with the perfect setting to continue selling the Coalition’s housing policy, which allows first-time buyers to use up to $50,000 of their pension retirement to move into their first home.

Morrison chatted kindly with first-time home buyers during the visit, noting that while they would move into their new home on Saturday, he would be quite busy elsewhere.

Hopefully they would have help from their friends to transport the canapes and set up the place, he added, and they could sit down with a glass of wine on Saturday evening.

But one day later Anthony Albanian endured tough questions about the costs of opposition politics, Morrison himself ran into headwinds.

The Prime Minister confirmed that Australians may have to wait until the end of 2023 for a real wage increase, according to the latest Reserve Bank forecast, as inflation outpaces the pace of wage growth.

And he confirmed that gasoline prices will rise by 22 cents per liter in September – as expected – when the temporary reduction in fuel excise duties ends.

For a prime minister campaigning on plans to help Australians cope with cost-of-living pressures, it’s a pair of confessions many won’t appreciate.

But, once again, serenity is a rare thing during the electoral campaign.

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