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Keating should rebuke Brereton, not bond dealers



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John Howard NEWS RELEASE Member for BennelongShadow Minister for Industrial Relations & Manager of Opposition Business in the House IR 027/94

KEATING SHOULD REBUKE BRERETON, NOT BOND DEALERS

Once again, the Prime Minister has things back to front.

Instead of claiming that higher interest rates will produce a wages breakout, he should acknowledge that the lack of confidence of financial markets in the government's industrial relations policy is one of the factors causing upward pressure on interest

rates.

The markets know the government has downe4 tools in modernising the Australian economy.

Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the area of industrial relations.

Laurie Brereton's Industrial Relations Reform Act was a sell-out to vested union interests. It made the IR system more rigid by increasing both the cost and complexity of employing people.

The workplace bargaining for non-unionists promised by the Prime Minister after the federal election has not been delivered.

Not only were Mr Keating's comments on the link between interest rates and wages the wrong way around, they also revealed that the Prime Minister does not believe his own rhetoric about enterprise bargaining.

If, as the Prime Minister now claims, wages are now essentially based on the enterprise, then a general interest rate increase would not provoke a general wage increase.

Such a proposition is the language of a centralised wage fixing system, not a decentralised one based on the enterprise.

Instead of shouting at bond dealers, Mr Keating should shout at his colleague, Laurie Brereton, for having comprehensively bungled the conduct of industrial relations policy.

CANBERRA ECOMMI ON =WEALTH

26/6/94 PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

MICAH