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SGL job losses are now assured

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Richard Alston



The Prime Minister has let the cat out of the bag and Senator Button is running for cover.

Yesterday, Mr Keating confirmed the Government's support for the full ACTU national wages claim, meaning that it will not be supporting a discount to that claim on account of the Superannuation Guarantee Levy, and today Senator Button is refusing to answer questions on this all important issue claiming he hasn't been briefed.

On all previous occasions, the Government has indicated that such a discount is critical in ensuring that there will not be the adverse employment consequences of 100,000 jobs lost over five years as a result of the SGL, and as modelled by Treasury.

In fact Treasury Secretary, Tony Cole is on record as saying that "there is an implicit full offset to the SGL from reductions in other wages costd' in the 'One Nation' wages growth projections.

The need for such an offset was made abundantly clear last night by Ian Ross from the ACTU at the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation, who claimed "that in aggregate terms in the first full year, we estimated... that [the effect o f the SGL] would be o f the order o f 1.5% aggregate wages costs on a national account basis." Together with the wages claim, this translates to an increase in labour costs in excess of 3% - significantly ahead of anticipated inflation.

Given that it has now become apparent that neither the ACTU nor the Government have any intention of having the ACTU's wages claim discounted - this being clear from last night's appearance of Ian Ross and despite all the Prime Ministerial promises to the contrary - there is little doubt that the 'One Nation' wages and unemployment forecasts are now utterly irrelevant.

As a result of the ACTU steadfastly refusing to accept any discounting and the Prime Minister's subsequent caving in to this, there can now be no doubt that there will be substantial job losses a result of the SGL.

For further information contact: Senator Richard Alston on [06] 277 3605.


4 June 1992.