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Wednesday, 17 November 1976
Page: 2764

Mr HURFORD (ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -My question is directed to the Treasurer. Is it a fact that the Japanese Government has announced a number of expansionary fiscal moves, including a selective increase in government spending, in an effort to promote economic recovery? Are the Japanese policies an example of a government simultaneously seeking to combat inflation and unemployment? Are there lessons in this for Australian domestic economic policy? Would the Treasurer like to clarify his answer, given yesterday, concerning the revised forecast of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and bring his answer into line with published OECD statistics and other information?

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) -The honourable gentleman clutches at straws. Of course I have seen reference to the recent package of economic measures brought down in Japan; but the honourable gentleman would not expect me to make any judgment inside or outside this House on whether those measures are appropriate for the Japanese economy, because that must remain the judgment of the Japanese Government. However, I want to say to the honourable gentleman in a quiet way- I do not want to be seen as being abrasive- that in the first place he should understand that I would describe the measures which have been brought down as amounting to very little by way of additional stimulus. If the honourable gentleman digs further into the package he will find that some of the components of the package of measures cover expenditures which were already included in the fiscal year 1976 Budget but which had been delayed in the Diet. Finally I say that the honourable gentleman might take some notice of the fact that as I am informed, the general account Budget deficit does not show any increase as a consequence of those measures. There certainly have been no reductions in taxation, again as I am informed, as a consequence of those measures. I stand by the answer I gave yesterday relating to the OECD figures. I do not think that the honourable gentleman questioned that. In relation to statistics, I repeat what I said yesterday, namely, that 1977 will be a year of sustained economic growth in the world community.

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