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A clarification on unemployment is necessary



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Ppfer PpitVi DEPUTY LEADER of the OPPOSITION SHADOW TREASURER DEPUTY LEADER of the OPPOSITION PRESS RELEASE

SHADOW TREASURER

A CLARIFICATION ON UNEMPLOYMENT IS NECESSARY

The Treasurer, Mr Dawkins, has an obligation to immediately clarify the Government's forecasts for unemployment.

In recent days, serious doubts have been cast over the Government's budget forecasts on unemployment.

On Friday, the Prime Minister, Mr Keating, publicly conceded that the Government was ‘under target on unemployment*.

The same day, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Mr Bernie Fraser, told an audience in New York that:

‘We have to get used to unemployment at perhaps the 10 to 11 per cent mark that weVe got at the moment for at least another year or so.*

In the 1992-93 Federal Budget, the Government forecast that unemployment would fall to 10 per cent by the end of the current financial year-thats June next year.

In his Budget speech, however, the Treasurer went even further claiming that unemployment would •decline from 11 per cent last June to below 10 per cent twelve months from now, and keep on declining in the years ahead".

The Treasurer is firmly on the public record saying unemployment would fall to 10 per cent by June, and below 10 per cent by August, 1993.

Given that the Prime Minister has now admitted the Government is ‘under tam er on unemployment, and the Governor of the RBA has also cast a cloud over the budget forecasts on unemployment, the onus is very heavily upon the Treasurer to answer some basic questions on this vital issue for the people of Australia.

Firstly, does the Treasurer agree with the Prime Minister that the Government is 'under larger on unemployment?

Does the Treasurer agree with the Governor of the Reserve Bank that unemployment will not fall to 10 per cent by June, and then below 10 per cent by August, but rather that Australians will have to get used to unemployment at the 10 to 11 per cent mark for ‘at least another year or sof?

What advice has the Treasurer received from the Commonwealth Treasury in recent times on the outlook for unemployment?

Unemployment remains the central issue in Australian politics.

Mr Dawkjns owes the million people Labor have put out of work already, and the thousands who are concerned they could lose their jobs some straight answers to these basic questions.

16 November 1992 Hastings COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 2774277 «005/92