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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Mr LYNCH - The response on this matter must be perfectly clear. I re-raise the question why the devaluation decision was taken. In the first place, there had been a continuing and indeed increasing lack of competitiveness between Australian industry and industries in so many countries abroad.

Mr Hunt - Why?

Mr LYNCH -Why was that? Simply because the Opposition, when in government, allowed an escalation of wage and salary costs which was absolutely unsustainable. Between 1970 and the first half of 1 976 unit labour costs in this country increased significantly more than the weighted average of such costs in our major trading partners. If there is any group in this country which must accept responsibility for the underlying reasons which led to that decision to devalue, it is certainly Labor Party members in this House at present. Of that there is no doubt.

Opposition members interjecting-


Mr Ruddock - We know who the culprits are.

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