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Transcript of dorrstop interview with mr Peter Reith MP

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Deputy Leader of the Opposition



Q Mr Beazley has said that he's disappointed with today's

figures. Is that an under-statement?

A Today's figures show that Paul Keating's policies have failed the Australian family. Dads have lost their jobs, full time jobs. Mums are finding a part-time job if they

can get one. And the young kids can't get a job and

they're sitting at home watching the TV lunch-time m o v i e . They reality is, today's figure is the worst unemployment for young people since the Great Depression. It is a massive indictment of Mr Keating and it screams at us,

these figures, that we ought to change policy, that we can't go on the way we are going. We can't have more of

the same, which is Mr Keating's policy.

Q You've said abolishing tax would mean companies would be

able to put on more p e o p l e . Do you really think the

employers would do that or just take the windfall?

A Today's figures prove that we ought to reduce the cost on

business so they can afford to employ more p e o p l e . And in this business you've got a chance of people keeping their jobs or, in fact, more jobs being created by the abolition of payroll tax and reducing the other costs on business. And a GST is the jobs creator. It's a cost

off business so that they can afford to employ more people. And these figures are the best evidence you'll ever get why we need a GST - to reduce those costs and to

give people a chance to get a job.

Q How do you see these figures personally?

A No, these figures are a tragedy. One in three young

people can't get a job. In some parts of Australia every

second person is unable to get a job. And that shows

that economic policy under Mr Keating has been a total dismal failure and it's a good reason for change, and change now. Mr Keating's meeting the Premiers tomorrow. He should call upon the Premiers tomorrow to join in a national campaign to abolish payroll tax. Mr Keating himself said if you abolish payroll tax we could create

200,000 jobs. Well, why doesn't he? Why doesn't he

tomorrow start the process of creating 200,000 jobs that he himself said could be created by the abolition of payroll tax?


Q When did he say that?

A Well, he said that back at the end of the '70s when it

was Labor Party policy to abolish payroll tax.

Q Why has he changed?

A Well, he's a great man for backflips, Mr Keating. He's

interested in one job - and that's his own job. And

Wayne Goss from Queensland has said he was in favour of a

consumption tax and his Ministers have all said that the abolition, or many of them have said, that the abolition of payroll tax would create jobs. Why doesn't he abolish payroll tax and create some jobs?

Q What would the GST do for youth?

A It gives them a chance for a job. The most important

thing you can do for young people today is to give them a

job. And when we have the worst figures since the 1930s, it's time for these governments - State and Federal - to have a sense of urgency to give young people a c h a n c e . They themselves have said you can create tens of thousands of jobs by the abolition of payroll tax. So

they ought to have that as their number one priority.

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