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Treasurer's successful unemployment strategy



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TREASURER'S SUCCESSFUL UNEMPLOYMENT STRATEGY

It is totally hypocritical for the Treasurer to express regret about tragically soaring unemployment, the Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce, Ian McLachlan, said today.

'Mr Keating has pursued a calculated high interest rate policy for years, the only consequence of which could have been higher unemployment and decimation of industry investment and activity.

'In a perverse way his policies have been extremely successful but I doubt that those who have lost their jobs or who have seen their businesses collapse will be offering congratulations.'

Mr McLachlan said that the impact on Australia's young people - with more than 1 in 4 unemployed - was especially devastating for them and the economy.

'Their future will be seriously and possibly permanently impaired because they are effectively being denied entry into the workforce.

'And of most concern is the fact that there is no real relief in sight.

'All the Treasurer has succeeded in doing is to flatten the economy but he has done absolutely nothing to address Australia's chronically high cost structure and domestic inflationary pressures,' said Mr McLachlan.

'Indeed by his strong advocacy of Accord Mark VI he is demonstrating his support for inflationary wage deals which will only increase unemployment and force more good businesses to the wall.

'In other words, under a continuation of Mr Keating's policies, all we can look forward to is either continued recession or another inflationary spurt followed by induced contraction.

'Genuine recovery will require a genuine effort to come to grips with wealth creation by making Australian industry more competitive but so far the Treasurer has shown only an inclination to redistribute Australia's declining wealth via inflation, high interest rates and the discredited Accord process,' Mr McLachlan said.

Further information:

Ian McLachlan Telephone: 06 277 2039

COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH 10 May 1991