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Proposed super levy in a shambles Keating loses nerve and grovels to the ACTU



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John Hewson Leader of the Opposition M e d i a R e l e a s e

186/92 2 June 1992

PROPOSED SUPER LEVY IN A SHAMBLES

KEATING LOSES NERVE AND GROVELS TO THE ACTU

Until now the Prime Minister has responded to my claims that the proposed compulsory super levy will raise labour costs and destroy jobs by asserting that wages would be discounted for the levy.

At no time did the Prime Minister say how he would actually

achieve this discounting, apart from saying that it was "always part of an agreement with the ACTU." (Hansard, 6 May 1992)

In today's Australian we see an astonishing report that "Old Jelly Back" N o .2 has backed down.

It says "some unions were worried that if the SGL Bill was

passed, the Government would ask the ACTU to reduce its wage claim." So, in private talks with his union masters, the Prime Minister was "allaying concerns the Government might have asked for the claim to be discounted because of increased

superannuation benefits."

The SGL without wage discounting will add to an already large real wage overhang. This will add further to unemployment.

According to Treasury advice, if wages are not discounted for the SGL there could be a loss of up to 100,000 jobs.

Keating's backdown in the face of ACTU pressure illustrates the unworkability of the SGL and Keating's inability to deliver his policies.

Today's report follows other recent criticisms of the SGL. A CAI survey of employers found that nearly 80 per cent would reduce employment as a result of the SGL, leading to a loss of up to

180,000 jobs. The former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, John Phillips, also recently rubbished suggestions that the SGL would significantly boost national savings.

Mr Keating must scrap the proposed SGL before he causes even more hardship.for Australian workers.

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