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Thursday, 26 February 1987
Page: 803

Mr HOWARD —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is he claiming that he has received advice from the Treasury and/or the Reserve Bank of Australia or the Joint Economic Forecasting Group which directly contradicts the previous advice of the Treasury and the Reserve Bank, incorporated into the views of the Indicative Planning Council referred to in Dr Hawkins's memo? If so, will he table that advice from the Treasury, the Reserve Bank or the Joint Economic Forecasting Group? If not, on what basis can he credibly continue to reject the advice referred to by Dr Hawkins and, moreover, on what basis can home owners, farmers and small businesses ever again trust the Prime Minister's word on interest rates?

Mr HAWKE —I understand why the Leader of the Opposition is trying so hard. I simply say to him that in my discussions on these matters with the Treasurer, the views expressed to me by the Treasurer as to the advice that he is receiving from the Treasury and the Reserve Bank are totally consistent with the view that he and I have been expressing-that as a result of the policies being followed by this Government we can expect through 1987 a decline in interest rates.