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Enough is enough!

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The tragic unemployment figures released in Canberra today expose Treasurer Keating's talk of recovery as the cynical, manipulative exercise that it is.

The addition of another 66,900 people to the unemployment scrap heap in a single month represents the most blatant indictment of Mr Keating's policies one could imagine.

But analysts believe there could still be worse to come.

The increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 0.7 percent in April marks the largest increase in jobless numbers in Australia ever recorded by this survey.

The only thing that has kept the statistics on the respectable side of ten per cent is the relatively better performance of New South Wales.

Indeed, if New South Wales is left out, unemployment has hit 10.6 per cent--the highest rate since the Great Depression of the thirties.

This double-digit unemployment flies in the face of repeated predictions by both the Prime Minister, and the Treasurer (see attached quotes).

The state-by-state results show unemployment has climbed to 10.5 per cent in Victoria, 10.7 per cent in Queensland, 10.3 per cent in South Australia, 11.1 per cent in Western Australia, and 10.8 per cent in Tasmania.

These are all Labor Government States (see attached graph).

It is particularly disturbing to see the number of jobless people in Victoria has more than doubled in the last twelve months from 106,000 to 230,800 (seasonally adjusted).

This result contrasts sharply with the result in New South W ales-the only state under a Liberal Government, and the only state where unemployment remains below 10 per cent.

Treasurer Keating's reliance on the growing participation rate as a defence to criticism over unemployment is nothing more than a diversion.

The fact is: Mothers are being forced to do additional work outside the home in unprecedented numbers because one-income families just cant survive under Mr Keating's policies.

v Mr Keating's policies have failed.

The Treasurer should be sacked.

The people of this country are furious about the growing dole queues, and the misery this Treasurer has inflicted upon them.

The longer Bob Hawke sticks by his "mate· the more the Australian people will question his leadership.

Smart words, and insults might impress some of your Labor colleagues, Mr Keating, but they dont impress the people you have put out of work.



(Unemployed in Labor Government States)

0.098 -

0.088 -

0.078 -

0.068 -


Dec-79 Dec-81 Dec-83 Dec-85 Dec-87 Dec-89 Dec 91

* v ·


"Perhaps someone might get back to the quaint habit of letting the readers decide what we actually mean when we say things, rather than you decide what we mean and then not tell the readers what we said in the first place."

Mr Keating Transcript of Press Conference on Balance of Payments figures 8 April 1991

"...while the unemployment rate is higher than the budget forecast I wouldn't, at this stage, believe it would go to 10 per cent."

Transcript of Mr Keating, Press Conference on monetary policy, 18 December 1990

"What I can say with authority is this: whenever it (unemployment) does peak, it will not be at that level which was inflicted upon this country by the Leader of the Opposition when he was the advisor to the

Honourable Member for Bennelong. That took

unemployment in this country into double-digit figures."

Hansard, Prime Minister's answer to question, 15 November 1990

"I am happy to rest on the fact that we will achieve the Budget forecast (7.3 per cent) in unemployment."

Senator Cook on Business Sunday, 11 November 1990


"while employment usually lags behind other economic indicators - and many pessimists and alarmists see the 8.4 per cent unemployment rate as an anomaly and are predicting it will rise to 10.3 or greater, consistent with the 1982/83 recession - I am confident that

unemployment will not reach this level."

Mr Dawkins quoted in the Australian, 21 February 1991

"Senator Button denied that the unemployment rate would reach the levels of the 1982/83 recession, when it hit 10 per cent and 620,000 people were out of work."

The Australian, 3 December 1990

"The place isn't smashed. What John Howard left was broken glass everywhere. What we have got here is a slowdown in the economy caused by, necessitated by a boost in spending, not smashed profits, not a burst

inflation rate, not a runaway unemployment - they left this place strewn with wreckage. Don't ever compare me to Howard for God's sake."

Mr Keating at a press conference on national accounts, 29 November 1990

"I think a lot of the lay-offs are behind us, think they laid them off last year, particularly big companies. I think they're quite lean."

"Real wages in Australia have not risen very much in the last decade. What do these people want?

Mr Keating, interview with Geoff Kitney and Tim Dodd in the Financial Review, Monday March 25, 1991.

"We won't have a scorched earth policy, we won't

destroy business activity, we won't destroy

employment, we will do all this gradually."

Mr Keating, 28 February 1990 AM Program

"The principal promise in 1983 was to bring down unemployment, restore economic growth and to bring a deceleration in inflation, and we've won all three."

Mr Keating, 19 October 1989 A Current Affair Interview


"We haven't reached and will not reach those sorts of levels of unemployment (1982/3 levels) and a basic reason why we're going to come out of this recession in a relatively strong position is because we have got

inflation going down and it's in large part is the result of having an effective wages policy."

Hr Hawke, 2 December 1990 Press Conference Lionsville Aged Care Home

"I'm happy to rest on the fact that we'll achieve the Budget forecast in unemployment."

Senator Cook, 11 November 1990, Business Sunday Program

"And I'll tell you what, if you vote for me what you'll get, what you'll get is a continuation of record employment growth..."

Mr Hawke, 12 March 1990 7.30 Report

"It is entirely possible that the, in terms of output, that the worst impact of the recession has in fact passed. ...What we have got here is a slowdown in the economy caused by, necessitated by a boost in

spending, not smashed profits, not a burst inflation rate, not a runaway unemployment..."

Mr Keating, 29 November 1990 Recession Press Conference

"I knew there had to be one but I didn't want to tell you."

Mr Keating, 29 November 1990 Recession Press Conference

"It is a recession Australia had to have."

Mr Keating, 29 November 1990 Recession Press Release


K: "It's a marked slow down in activity"

Ji "God help us if we ever have a real recession."

Ki Well, you had a real one in 1982/83. That's what got us elected to office.

Mr Keating, 4 October 1990

"This year inflation will fall further, the current account deficit will markedly improve and employment will pick up. In short, the kind of outcome the Government was seeking, delivered without the misery

and despair of high unemployment and a savage recession.

21 August 1990, Budget Speech

"..Comparing this downturn to 1982-83 we see some important differences. We have lost jobs in this downturn. We may lose more. But the loss is very much smaller than 1982-83 because wages and gross

profits are in much better balance. Our unemployment rate may rise further, but it has an entirely

different meaning [than in 1982/83]"

Mr Keating at an address to the Economic Planning Advisory Committee, 22 February 1991

J: "Ok. Many people are saying that by the middle

of this year there could be a million people unemployed. Do you accept it or not accept it?

Ki No. I don't accept that.

J: Will there ever be a million people unemployed in year? this

Ki No. No there won't ..."

Ji "Can I say this to you? If a million people are

unemployed by the end of this year would you consider that this Government then would have failed?

Ki Well, no."

Transcript of Mr Keating with John Laws (2UE) 14 March 1991


'At Budget time we also forecast that while there would be a welcome decline in demand this financial year, the

overall level of production would remain sufficiently high to generate continued employment growth.

This too is happening...

In other words, the Australian economy is making "a

soft landing".'

Economic Statement February 1990

"The policy of 'fighting inflation first' had not only failed to restrain the inflation rate but had laid to waste large areas of our industries, relegating

hundreds of thousands to the misery and indignity of unemployment.

This Government sought and received a very clear

mandate from the Australian people to put the country back on the path to economic prosperity and to deal

with inflation and unemployment simultaneously - with a spirit of consensus and fairness that would give the strategy its greatest opportunity for success.

Budget Speech 1983-84

. .we believe that we will see some modest employment growth before the end of this financial year. I think that's, that's, entirely possible."

Transcript of Hr Keating, Press Conference on monetary policy, 15 October 1990

'Mr Keating said he did not accept that there could be a million people unemployed by the middle of the year.

"There won't because I think the economy is coming

back, with housing approvals starting to turn, stock cycles turning around," he said

"I think we'll see a recovery before the end of this

year...(but) we don't want it coming back too fast".'

Mr Keating The Australian 15 March 1991