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Wednesday, 8 December 1976


Mr SPEAKER -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr HURFORD - Yes. The Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser), both today in question time and 2 days ago, suggested that I am not in favour of wage indexation. He quoted selectively from a transcript of an interview on State of the Nation on 2 December 1976, last Thursday night. I also quote from that transcript, which reads:

Eric Robinson: Do you think the last decision of the Commission was right?

Chris Hurford: I think it was absolutely inevitable and so does every informed commentator.

As you know, Mr Speaker, that was a full wage indexation decision. The transcript continues:

Eric Robinson: And so you would be in favour of full wage indexation?

Chris Hurford: I am certainly in favour of an incomes policy of which wage indexation is certainly a very important part.

All I suggested in the quotation selectively chosen by the Prime Minister was that no responsible economic policy maker would suggest that any policy is sacrosanct for ever in this area. Policy depends on the state of the economy at the time. Under Labor management and with terms of trade going in our favour, one would hope that wage and salary earners would improve their standard of living by improving on wage indexation.







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