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Kelty's demands make a mockery of government's restraint pleas



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

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STATEMENT BY THE SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND YOUTH AFFAIRS, MR. PETER SHACK

KELTY'S DEMANDS MAKE A MOCKERY OF GOVERNMENT'S RESTRAINT PLEAS

Demands fo r wage ris e s and oth e r b e n e f its by ACTU Secretary, Mr. B ill

K e l t y , made a joke of the Government's c a l l s f o r r e s t r a i n t , Shadow

Industrial Relations M inis te r, Mr. Peter Shack, said today.

M r. Shack was commenting on morning newspaper re p o rts of remarks

a t t r i b u t e d to Mr. K e l t y at a meeting o f th e " S o c i a l i s t Forum" in

Melbourne.

He said the demands allegedly made by Mr. Kelty not only made a mockery

of the Labor Government's p u r s u it of r e s t r a i n t , t h e y a ls o made a

laughing stock of the Prices and Incomes Accord.

"A pparently the Government's own alleged commitment to wage and overall labour cost r e s t ra in t does not extend to i t s p a rtn e r in the Accord and

wage fix in g guidelines - the ACTU," he said.

"No-one with any sense of r e a l i t y and knowledge of the conditions of the

Accord could con ce iv ab ly suggest th a t the demands made by the ACTU

Secretary are within its bounds."

"Furtherm ore, i f Mr. K e lty succeeds in having his demands met by the

Government - as his remarks seem to suggest he does - th e re w i l l be no

halting a labour cost spiral in the months ahead."

"This would have d is a s tro u s consequences f o r i n f l a t i o n , A u s t r a lia 's

i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o m p e titiv e n e s s and, most i m p o r t a n t l y , f u t u r e jo b

creation," Mr. Shack said.

" I t is to be hoped t h a t to g e th e r Mr. K e lty 's demands make up an ambit

claim - i f they do not, then there is e ith er going to be tremendous cost

escalation or wide industrial unrest."

Mr. Shack said th e re was no way th a t Mr. K elty's expectations on f u l l

wage indexation, superannuation, supplementary payments f o r low income e a rn e rs , ta x reform and consolidation of job projection gains could be

met, and higher employment levels s t i l l be attained.

. . . /2 .

"T h e r e is s i m p l y no way t h a t a d d i t i o n a l labour and r e l a t e d costs can be

c o n t i n u a l l y pushed on t o A u s t r a l i a n b u s i n e s s e s and t h o s e b u s i n e s s e s

s t i l l be e x p e c t e d t o employ more p e o p l e and r e m a i n c o m p e t i t i v e , " he

s a i d . .

" I t i s ob vi ous Mr. K e l t y has no idea of e i t h e r how businesses are r un ,

or the linkages between higher labour and r e l a t e d c o s t s and employment

o p p o r t u n i t i e s , and com pet iti ven ess ."

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4 t h F e b r u a r y , 1 9 8 5 .