Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3165


Mr PEACOCK —Is the Treasurer aware that projection 2 by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet shows that a wages catchup will lead to 150,000 more unemployed in 1985-86 than if there were no catchup? Will the Treasurer therefore assure the House that the Government will strongly oppose any catchup whatsoever or will it be prepared to support 150,000 more unemployed?


Mr KEATING —Do we have to go through this again? The Leader of the Opposition has stopped about half a dozen punches on this matter already. Apparently he wants to take more. Projection 2 is for a wage breakout; projection 3 is for the collapse of the world economy. As I said yesterday, projection 3 is disagreed with by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund. Projection 2 is not something which we believe will occur under the operation of the prices and incomes policy. It may be to the eternal chagrin of the Leader of the Opposition that the accord with the trade union movement is holding together very strongly. Indeed there was great support for it at the Congress of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. We have no reason to believe that some of the dire projections of projection 2 will come to pass. Quite obviously, if there were a significant wage breakout and if there were a high movement in wages that would have its effect upon inflation, upon investment and therefore upon employment. However, it is not something that the Government believes is likely to happen in the circumstances. For that reason the Government is not alarmed by what the projection obviously shows, that a higher wage input will produce more inflation and less growth.