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Another blatant untruth from a desperate Prime Minister

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The Prime Minister, Mr Keating, has been publicly caught out for the second time in less than two weeks deliberately distorting statistics on the Australian economy.

On Perth radio yesterday, Mr Keating told Howard Sattler that the amount of overtime being worked in Australia at present was similar to the "boom" levels of 1989.

Mr Keating's problem is: The overtime data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last Thursday showed that overtime fell by 1.5 per cent in the latest quarter to one of the lowest levels in ten years.

The graph in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning leaves Mr Keating's credibility in tatters.

This is not just a minor slip.

In the space of two weeks we have seen two glaring examples of a desperate Prime Minister distorting economic data in a vain attempt to make things look better than they really are.

To accidentally get some figures wrong in isolation is neither here nor there.

But to brazenly distort the economic data in public for your own ends is a mark of desperation.

On June 17, Mr Keating insulted Australia's jobless young people by fiddling with the figures on youth unemployment.

Now he is fiddling with the overtime data in a desperate attempt to convince people the recovery is underway.

The Prime Minister used his distorted version of the overtime data as some kind of evidence that the recovery was on track.

In detail, the Prime Minister said: _

". . .the problem is that what happens in all recoveries is that in the first instance employers work people overtime before they put extra people on. So there is a lag response for employment and one of the

interesting things that is happening at the moment is that overtime being worked is getting back to the levels of the boom year of 1989. That is we are

starting to see those sort of classic signs of recovery where employers are working people overtime, the next step being to put an extra person on..."


This brazen assertion from the Prime Minister flies in the face of the facts.

The data from the Bureau of Statistics last week shows that between February and May this year job vacancies fell by 6.9 per cent.

The amount of overtime worked fell by 1.5 per cent.

It is worth noting that Paul Keating has been telling the

Australian people that economic recovery was "coming through" for over twelve months.

His talk of recovery sounds just like his promises that there wouldn't be a recession in the first place -self-serving and unfounded.

• Overtime being worked is getting back to the levels of the boom year

of 1989J

Hours 1.6

Average weekly overtime hours per employee, - - μ

y' r>X

, #· : 5k: ...

May 1992 f 3

Seasonally^ . * adjusted ■*] *


- Mr Keating's claim 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

(Page 1, Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 1992)

30 June 1992 Hastings

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 277 4277 D110/92