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Tuesday, 30 November 1976

Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) -Does the Treasurer recall that, in his Press statement issued following the announcement of devaluation on Sunday last, he said that the Government would, therefore, be doing everything in its power to ensure that any identifiable effects of the devaluation decision upon the consumer price index did not flow on into wages, either through national wage case hearings or more generally. I ask the Treasurer: Does that statement imply that the Government has in mind some form of incomes freeze? If so, will he indicate how the Government intends to achieve that objective, given the difficulties of our Federal system? If not, in order to avoid sowing confusion in the minds of members of the work force, both working class and middle class, and provoking those people unnecessarily, will he state at least generally the sorts of measures he has in hand to achieve this objective, especially in the light of the singular lack of success that the Government has had recently in this area?

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