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Keating's prediction on growth at variance with 1983/84 budget deficit estimate



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Deputy Leader of the Opposition

4

NEWS RELEASE D2/83

KEATING'S PREDICTION ON GROWTH AT VARIANCE WITH 1983/84 BUDGET DEFICIT ESTIMATE

Remarks attributed to Mr Keating in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald that he expects the economy to be growing strongly by the first six months of 1984 are inconsistent with the Government's estimate of a $9.6 billion deficit for 1983/84. .

On Friday the Prime Minister provided details for the projected deficit of $9.6 billion based on the expectation of a contracting economy with a large increase in welfare payments and a 9 per cent reduction in company income.

While Mr Hawke trumpets that these figures show the gravity of the economic situation faced by the Government, Mr Keating would have us believe that output will pick up and that growth in the private sector will occur over the course of

the next financial year.

The Government cannot have it both ways. Is Mr Keating

saying that he does not believe the Treasury estimates for the 1983/84 budget deficit which have been predicated on a continued recession and apparently zero growth?

If this is the case then he would seem to be at odds

with the Prime Minister who has placed so much credence in

the $9.6 billion figure for an excuse to walk away from his ill-conceived election promises.

Canberra 22 March 1983 Parliam ent H ou se, Canberra, A C T . 2 6 0 0