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December 1991 Balance of Payments and the Rural sector



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Tim Fischer mp Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources

DECEMBER 1991 BALANCE OF PAYMENTS AMD THE RURAL SECTOR

Paul Keating can take no comfort from the latest Balance of Payment (BOP) Figures as they only indicate that the 'weapon * works but the 'carrot' hasn't.

Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer said today that the 16% drop in imports is a direct result of the recession that we did not have to have.

"There is simply no productive wealth in the economy at the moment, something that has to be achieved if long term benefits are to be gained.

"Australia cannot continue to run on 'strong medicine' with no sign of recovery.

"Whilst it is good news that our current account deficit has fallen, the fall cannot be sustained for all time by diminishing income and therefore reduced purchases.

"The only proof that the Government's economic management is working will be when exports take off, indicating a return of confidence and investment in the productive sector.

"Rural and Provincial Australia has contributed to the latest Balance of Payments outcome through a favourable response to the lower exchange rate. And yet even with this fillip, total merchandise exports fell by 1%.

Mr Fischer said the lesson from the latest BOP figures is that the economy is lurching around with no base and therefore highlights its extreme vulnerability.

"It is possible that any 'quick fix, band aid' measures in the Keating February/March economic Statement will produce a similar distorted response to these latest BOP figures accompanied by the usual Government euphoria and very little else," Mr Fischer added.

ENDS

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