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CAI sponsored study supports coalition tariff position



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MEDIA RELEASE fhfa -V A U S T R A L I A .,·* j_.· /////'',."S E N A T O R A U S T I N L E W IS SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCETHE SENATE CAI SPONSORED STUDY SUPPORTS COALITION TARIFF POSITION

Senator Austin Lewis, Shadow Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce today welcomed the study by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research on behalf of the Confederation of Australian Industry (CAI).

The study's conclusions strongly support the Coalition approach to reductions in industry assistance in highlighting the potential benefits and critical importance of reducing anti-competititve burdens on industry.

The report highlights the benefits of the approach which the Coalition has been consistently advocating of reducing impediments to competitiveness such as the high cost of coastal shipping, land freight and labour, and the costs of regulation and government charges.

"As recently as last week when I welcomed the Government's announcement of changes to the Passenger Motor Vehicle Plan I urged the Government to reduce the anti-competitive burdens on industry and reduce the burden of Government regulations on business to allow the benefits of a lowered protection regime to flow through the community.

At that time I also said:

'Under the Australian Labor Party Government, industry is being or would be squeezed by tariff reductions, while in effect the rigid industry structures, which are becoming worse under this Government, have tied

industry's hands behind its back'.

"The Government's continuing failure to provide the Industries Assistance Commission with the terms of reference for its review of non-tax Government charges on industry exemplifies the Government's lack of intention to seriously address key factors that inhibit the international competitiveness of Australian Industry", Senator Lewis said.

"The CAI-sponsored report also makes conclusions on the employment consequences of reductions in protection without accompanying action on those matters which reduce the competitiveness of Australian industry.

"In that context, I note media reports of a study by the Impact Research Group which points to net employment increases arising from substantial tariff cuts. The Government should speedily release the Impact Research Report on the employment consequences of tariff reductions to allow fully informed and balanced debate on the issue."

20 April 1988. Further Information: John Robertson

I CO , V ! ,V| o n vvIal7h “ 7 I parliamentary library L,__ C.I.S.

72 7088