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Thursday, 19 March 1987
Page: 998

Debate resumed from 19 February, on motion by Senator Parer:

That the Senate, condemning the Hawke Labor Government for its mismanagement of the Australian economy which has resulted in-

(a) huge rises in the cost of living, particularly in food prices which have increased by 8.6 per cent for the 12 months to December 1986;

(b) the highest interest rate regime in the Western world, in particular, home loan interest rates which are at their highest levels since the Great Depression, resulting in a drastic downturn in home ownership in Australia;

(c) huge increases in the prices of motor vehicles of approximately 40 per cent since 1983 which are a direct result of misguided Government policies, the depreciation of the Australian dollar and the introduction of the fringe benefits tax, resulting in lower sales and reduced opportunities;

(d) falling disposable incomes for the majority of Australians caused by higher taxes as taxpayers move into the higher Keating tax brackets;

(e) lack of job growth and continuing high levels of unemployment, particularly amongst our youth who are experiencing an unemployment rate between 21 and 23 per cent;

(f) continuing high current account deficits, averaging in excess of $1b. per month on our balance of payments caused by inappropriate cost containment policies;

(g) low levels of investment in new job creation industries such as import replacement and export industries; and

(h) rapidly increasing foreign debt which has trebled since 1983, currently approximately $100b. and is estimated to increase by a further 50 per cent over the next 3 years unless Government policies are changed,

calls upon the Hawke Labor Government to introduce a mini-Budget to include lower and flatter rates of income tax, significant reductions in Government expenditure, and the abolition of the fringe benefits tax, capital gains tax and the lump-sum superannuation tax.

upon which Senator Vigor had moved by way of amendment:

Leave out all words after ``include'', insert ``lower rates of income tax for Australians, and measures to-encourage export-directed industries with a high value-added; control flows of speculative capital in and out of the country, including introduction of a tax on moneys leaving the country; implement a significant and cost-effective reduction in Government expenditure; close off the taxation rorts of transfer pricing and negative gearing on interest paid on money borrowed for company takeovers; and calls on all parties and all Australians to unite in an effort to overcome the current economic crisis facing Australia.''.

(Quorum formed)