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Minister comments on indexation decision



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NEWS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS THE HON. TONY STREET, M.R

MINISTER COMMENTS ON INDEXATION DECISION

The decision by the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to adjust wages

in line with the full CPI increase for the combined September and December quarters will

in the Government's view slow the rate of recovery, and make the Government's task of

reducing inflation and unemployment even harder.

I appreciate the difficult decision which the Full Bench was called upon to make, and the

Government of course recognises the prerogative of the Commission to grant the full 6.4%

increase even though it is not in accord with submissions put forward on behalf of the

Government last week. It will be recalled that on that occasion, the Government supported

an increase in award wages equivalent to approximately half the combined September and

December increases in the Consumer Price Index. The Government's submission was

consistent with its objectives of reducing the level of unemployment and increasing security

in employment, creating new job opportunities and of protecting the growth of real incomes

to all wage and salary earners and the purchasing power of all Australians.

The Commission in granting the full adjustment of wages for movements in the CPI for the

September and December quarters has placed an even greater responsibility on the Trade

Union movement and Employer organisations and their respective leaders, to observe

strictly the wage determination principles laid down by the Commission. Departure from

these guidelines or major increases in labour costs can only result in a dramatic acceleration

in the level of inflation and a further increase in the level of unemployment.

M ELBOURNE

13 February 1976

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