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Government's Economic Plans More Apparent than Real



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THE LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA- m e d i a r e l e a s e FEDERAL SECRETARIAT ' '

STATEMENT BY SENATOR THE HON. R.C. COTTON, SHADOW MINISTER'FOR MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC PLANS MORE APPARENT THAN REAL '

It would appear the Government's plans announced last night to stimulate quickly the economy are more apparent than real.

It is real, for example, that the economy is running down at a record p a c e . Perhaps even faster than the injection of the massive tax cuts announced last night by the Prime Minister.

If this is the case then the extra money being put into people's pockets by way of tax cuts may be too late to boost any real demand.

Even if the measures announced last night affect employment and business activity it will be at least March before any real indications are available. - j ·

However, it is heartening to Manufacturing Industry to realise the Prime Minister has at:last· become aware of its importance if any social reform is to be achieved. It is to be hoped the Prime Minister realises that , the social reform most needed i s .for 200,000 Australian people to g et.back

their jobs and for others endangered to feel more security in their present occupations.

This can only happen if real confidence in the economy is felt by employers in Manufacturing industry.

This will not happen overnight.

The Prime Minister needs to be made aware that manufacturers are not prepared to make the necessary investment decisions involving huge amounts ' of money when the whole slant of government action has been against the private sector. .

Although this is now stated to be changed, industry will need more convincing. .

How can confidence be restored overnight by a government which has brought iTf three contradictory changes in its budget in three months and which is now reluctant to assert confidence in its own Treasurer?

.Mr·., Whitlam's hopes for wage ■ restraint on the threshhold of wage indexation being introduced must also cause concern in the private sector. Already there are rumblings in the unions for wage increases to ensure they are not being left at the starting post when and if indexation is introduced.

The apparent benefits of the announced tax reductions would become more real if Mr. Whitlam bargained with the unions for deferment of the . National Wage case. · ’ ·

But how can the Government bargain for restraint when its present indulgence in public sector spending is to be continued? . ■ ..../2 .

BLACEALL & MACQUARIE STS., BARTON, A.C.T. G.P.G. BOX 13, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2,600. TEL. 73 2564. TELEX AA 6.2630

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On the anniversary of his first year as Prime Minister, Mr. Whitlam, commenting on his foreign policies said; ' A generous foreign policy rests upon proper balance between power and obligations'. '

If confidence is to be restored in the Australian economy it. is ■

essential for Mr. Whitlam to convince the private sector that he ' · really does understand power and its obligations.

It is the private sector v/hich provides the great bulk of employment and a competent government would ensure the Australian people are given' adequate employment opportunities.'

To this end much more help is needed, including investment allowances, before we can be satisfied that the rate of capital investment so essential to our national growth and development will be restored.

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November 13, 1974