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Keating/Kelty axis to torpedo budget strategy



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189/91 August 13, 1991

KEATING/KELTY AXIS TO TORPEDO BUDGET STRATEGY

The campaign to destabilise Bob Hawke's leadership has

intensified this week with a concerted two-pronged attack by Paul Keating and his good mate ACTU boss Bill Kelty.

After meeting Mr Keating privately at Melbourne Airport for an hour and a half on Saturday night, Mr Kelty refused to back the Government's demand for a "mini-Accord" to provide a wages target for next week's budget.

Meanwhile, Mr Keating simultaneously claimed credit for the latest low inflation figure while attacking the Government's monetary policy.

In other words, the former Treasurer - in conjunction with Bill Kelty - has undermined the Prime Minister's key economic

credentials: his special relationship with the unions and his claim to policy courage.

Mr Keating's attack is designed to leave his rival without an Accord and without a credible interest rate policy.

The Member for Blaxland is far better at exposing the

Government's shortcomings than at articulating a credible policy of his own.

In his desperation, worried that the leadership is slipping through his fingers daily, he has now resorted to attacking the very policies he espoused in his eight years as Treasurer.

In order to undermine the Prime Minister he has attacked his own past.

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