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Friday, 25 September 1970

Mr GORTON - I suppose the honourable member is entitled to add what adjectives he likes to his statement. I would like to make it clear that I do not agree with those adjectives at all. I believe it perfectly proper for myself as the leader of the Government or for other Ministers to point out that the only real benefit from wage rises can come if there is an increase in production and those wages can buy more. I believe it perfectly proper to point out and will continue to point out that the inflation which follows wage rises which are not backed up by increased productivity is an inflation which damages members of this community least able to look after themselves. The object of this Government and of the Budget which it has brought in is to contain inflation for the benefit of those who can least look after themselves. Another objective of it was to provide more in the pay packet by taxation remissions which are much more effective in buying power than the actual sum concerned because they are not subject, of course, to taxation at all. I think it proper, responsible and right to point these things out. I shall continue to do so. I think it is irresponsible for the honourable member to say they should not be said.

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