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Wednesday, 24 October 1984
Page: 2306

Senator PETER RAE(12.33) — by leave-I move:

At end of motion, add ', but the Senate is of the opinion that the Hawke Government should be condemned for presenting a Budget which totally fails to take account of or to provide for the correction of the serious state of the economy, namely, that in Australia-

(a) public debt in 1984-85 is estimated to be $90 billion, which involves an average interest bill of $34 per week for each taxpayer;

(b) overseas investment is at its lowest level for the past three years;

(c) the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has forecast an expected decline of 29 per cent in rural production in the year 1984-85;

(d) private fixed capital investment in 1983-84 was 10 per cent lower than in 1982-83;

(e) manufacturing production in the June quarter 1984 actually fell by 0.7 per cent, continuing a trend of decreasing growth over the past 18 months;

(f) seasonally adjusted retail sales fell by nearly 1 per cent in the three months ended August 1984 compared to the three months ended May 1984;

(g) inflationary pressures arising from the indexed increases in government charges and from the fact that average weekly earnings for the 12 month period to the end of June 1984 increased by 12.3 per cent;

(h) public sector employment and public sector funded employment has increased drastically while employment in the productive sectors of the economy such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and the associated area of transport has actually fallen by 50 000 during the term of the present Government;

(i) Australia's unemployment rate remains above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average;

(j) Budget estimates show that this Government's administration costs were increased by 16.7 per cent in 1984-85 which is three times the expected rate of inflation and nearly one-third as high again as the increase in total Government outlays;

(k) the Government sector is the main cause of inflation in Australia; and

(l) a widespread and justifiable fear exists in relation to severe increases in taxation in the event of the re-election of the Hawke Government'.