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Business investment strike will continue

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MWHn Ian McLacMan

/ l c a b c Shadow M inister for Industry and Commerce



Tonight's Budget will do nothing to arrest the investment strike now gripping Australia and is an admission of failure by the Government that its policies have not restarted the economy, according to the Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Ian McLachlan.

'And business will continue this strike because the Budget does nothing to encourage Australians to have the confidence to invest their capital, nor foreigners to risk theirs, - not in mills, nor mines, nor farms nor factories.

'There is absolutely no incentive for the judicious investment which could put Australia on an internationally competitive footing.

'Tonight's figures reveal quite clearly the collapse in business investment which has followed the disintegration of commercial confidence.

'Business investment dropped in 1991/2, for the third successive year by a massive 16.3 per cent and is forecast to remain negative in the forthcoming year.

'The Treasurer said tonight that business investment is crucial to any recovery in the economy.

'And yet the Government's disgraceful $13.4 billion deficit is a clear admission that it has had to step in where private industry has declined to do so.

'And without the Dawkins' fiddle factor of $1.6 billion in asset sales and over $1.1 billion from the Reserve Bank's foreign currency profits, the real Budget deficit is closer to $16 billion.

'But all those 'fudge its' in this budget won't provide the kick start business needs to invest and grow.

'Quite simply, private and corporate confidence has been crushed by high interest rates, accumulated debt, and the boom and bust roller coaster which has been the hallmark of this Government.

'The best way to create lasting jobs for men and women is to boost consumer confidence and restart private business investment.

'This Budget encourages no one to invest - and without investment there are no profits and without profits there are no jobs.

Further information: Ian McLachlan, Shadow Minister, Industry and Commerce, Telephone: 06 2772039. 18 August, 1992.