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Labor's higher taxes and spending spree

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Leader of the Opposition

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"The Hawke Government's Budget appears to be shaping up to be one of higher and higher taxes to support bigger and bigger Government", the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Peacock, said today.

"Australians must be wondering which groups in the community will be next on the Hawke Government's hit list for new and higher taxes.

"Senior Ministers, such as Senator Button, continue to suggest that death duties and a new capital gains tax should be introduced. Rumours continue to ciruculate that there will be a surcharge on income tax. The Government can be expected

to try to sell the surcharge: as temporary. Past experience with the Hawke Government suggests that this would be yet another broken promise.

"All these threats of higher taxes in the Budget come on top of the substantial increases in the May mini-Budget and in State charges. Since March the average Australian family has been hit by up to $18 a week extra in higher Government

taxes and charges.

"For all these sacrifices Australians are getting nothing in return. There is no evidence that the Hawke Government has a coherent program for economic recovery. On the contrary, it is pursuing a wages policy which, by

its own admission, will increase unemployment.

"The Budget deficit will remain at $8.5 billion. This means Government borrowing could increase by 70% in 1983/84, real interest rates will remain high, and business will have no real incentive to invest in permanent jobs.

"The Budget deficit remains at a record level despite the higher taxes and the upward revisions in Government income. The only conclusion is that the Government will be going on a spending spree. Certainly the deficit will be used to finance Labor's ideological programs at the cost of the community.

"The Hawke Government seems totally committed to higher taxes and bigger Government. The Australian people can only feel apprehensive about the coming Budget".

Canberra, 7 August 1983.