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Labor should tell the truth about the economic situation: Ruddock

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'A& MEDIA STATEMENT Philip Ruddock MP Federal M ember for Dundas

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Electorate Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739

Parliament House Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062

19 December 1991



"The Australian people should not fear recession". (R.J.Hawke 1990)

"..the thing I am totally confident about is that the economy will recover in 1991" (R.J Hawke 1990)

"There is no doubt that the Australian economy is coming out o f recession" (R.J Hawke, July, 1991)

"Australia has come out o f recession" (J Kerin, London, October, 1991)

"I have been looking at various indicators and the statistical data...and I believe ... we are coming out o f recession "(J. Kerin AM Program, 5 December, 1991.)

In every month since the last election, the Prime Minister (at the time of writing), Bob Hawke, has either said there will be no recession or that a recovery is around the corner.

But the recession rolls on, and on.

While the Hawke/Keating camps plot their little games to fight for the top job, Australians are suffering in a country floundering to return to economic stability and job security. Too many people are out of work, and too many people are currently forced, through Labor's abysmal lack of economic and labour market

direction, to stay on the unemployment scrap heap.

It is time that the Prime Minister and his Treasurer (whoever they may turn out to be) stop lying about our economic circumstances and faced the reality that our economic problems are deep seated, structural, and medium-term in their nature.

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Recognition of this reality will lead to the inevitable conclusion that we need a dramatic and urgent shift in economic policy.

Labor do not have a clear policy or direction on any of the major economic areas, such as the rural sector, the public and private sectors and the world economy.

There is no point tinkering at the edges with policy.

Our Fightback Plan has outlined a 20 point plan for action.

The Government must stop wasting precious time and act decisively to restore business confidence by bringing forward an integrated plan of action to deal with Australia's serious economic problems.

The Prime Minister must stop lying and show leadership. If Keating is elected this evening to the top job, Australians are faced with a Prime Minister who has ■ played a very major role in the engineering of this recession that "we had to have". Australians surely cannot take any more of this.

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