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Age survey throws further doubt on economic trilogy



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Deputy Leader o f the Opposition

NEWS RELEASE BY JOHN HOWARD MP D1/8S

AGE SURVEY THROWS FURTHER DOUBT ON ECONOMIC TRILOGY

The economic survey published by the Age newspaper -contains·" . ·

further- evidence;:that the. HawkerGovernaenL;will,;notu be;able u , v:· . ~

to keep its promised economic trilogy, '' ~ ^

The average growth rate predicted by the thirty-three economists

who contributed to the Age survey is 3.11 GDP growth for

1985.

This is well below the figure of four per cent which would

be required if the Government were to have any hope of - ­

delivering on the threefold economic programme to which it -

so firmly, committed itself during the "election campaign.

In other words those economists whose predictions Mr Keating

is now happily embracing in order to discredit the recent

OECD economic survey, are almost unanimous in saying that

the Australian economy will not grow fast.enough in 1985

to enable the Government to keep its main economic commitments

of the recent election campaign.

This is hardly surprising. The Opposition warned repeatedly

before the election that the Government’s so-called’ , economic

trilogy could not be achieved.

This claim was based on a belief - which all the economic

data emerging since the election has supported - that the

economy would not grow strongly enough to make it possible

for the Government to go anywhere near achieving its

campaign commitments on the deficit, levels of taxation

and spending. ~

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2,

The Opposition's scepticism was also heavily influenced by

the massive expansion of government spending which has taken

place in the two Keating budgets.

The. other, very clear message t o . emerge from yesterday 's

survey results, was;the dismal: unemployment, outlook*. -

this survey is any guide the likelihood is that unemployment -

will on present, policies remain stubbornly high for an

indefinite:period. „

. · . - ■ ■

Yesterday's survey was the latest in a series of economic

data, comment and prediction on the Australian economy

published since 1 December which has thrown serious doubt -

on the credibility of claims on the economy made by the

Prime Minister and the Treasurer before the election,. . - ..

SYDNEY

3 January 198S