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Thursday, 24 February 1977

Mr BRYANT - I address a question to the Treasurer. Is it a fundamental part of the Government's economic policy to reduce the real income of the Australian salary and wage earner? If so, does it mean a transfer of wealth is being undertaken from the salary and wage earner to the profit making sector- basically, public corporations? Am I right in assuming that if this is the case, taking the figures which he used in his speech last week, this is a transfer of about $ 1,200m from wage and salary earners to the profit making sector? As the Australian consumers, who are basically the wage and salary earners, consume over 80 per cent of all manufactured products and nearly SO per cent of all primary products, does not this have a very serious effect upon the consumption capacity of Australia's biggest customers- Australians themselves? Will he take note of the statement of the Prime Minister yesterday about the importance of the Australian consumer? Will he explain to me how he can carry out that policy and fulfil the Prime Minister's policy, announced a few moments ago, of a sustainable and proper recovery of the economy?

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