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National Wage Case



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NII.vCA.jTLI·: CITY HALL, 2 MAY 1974 SJ’liKCU EXTRACT

National Wane Case '

The average wage earner will pain nearly $5 a week from

the national wage decision. IV e Accept the dec is ion. .

In a time of raging inflation, historically high tax and

interest rates, runaway prices, frustrating shortages ii

and the high level of industrial unrest which these

factors only aggravate.

The national wage rise is also a telling reminder of the

way in which Lnbor is using inflation to finance the

massive rise in Government spending. Nearly <:·2 of the

rise will, he lost in tax.

La t y e a r , to x pa i d by Lin.· avo raff c waj;e earner went up 34 percent.

This year i i . will be m u r e . 11 i s food bill has pone up by more Iran

20 percent,. Prices gener-.lly are climbing at «early 14 percent.

Interest rates have cost him more in higher payments on the loan

for the family home. is that a fair go?

The Commission's; decision not to immediately introduce quarterly

wage adjustments was a rehuff to the Labor Ί arty. Labor's only

economic initiative since Christmas was to support the re~

introduction of quarterly ad: jus tmonts, something which would Ir.ive

fed the inflationary pri.ee/vmgc spiral. .

. I ' ■ .

F o r t u n a t e l y , t h e C o m m i s s i o n h a s o x e r c i s e d i t s i n d e p e n d e n t : e a n d

t u r n e d t h e m d o w n . T h e C o m m i s s i o n r e j e c t e d M r C a m e r o n ' s s u b m i s s i o n

w h i c h a r g u e d f o r q u a r t e r l y , fla.t r a t e a d j u s t m e n t s i n l i n e w i t h

Lite C o n s u m e r j’r i c e I n d e x . i n s t e a d , i t c.allod f o r a c o n f e r e n c e

b e t w e e n the. G o v e r n m e n t , u n i o n s a n d e m p l o y e r s t o d i s c u s s t h e w h o l e

q u e s t i o n s o f wo.go f i x a t i o n . A s a G o v e r n m e n t , w e w i l l w i l l i n g l y

p a r t i c i p a t e i n s u c h a c o n f e r e n c e t o e n c o u r a g e e m p l o y e r s a n d u n i o n s

t o c o m e t o a n a g r e e m e n t o n m e t h o d s o f w a g e f i x a t i o n i n t h e c o n t e x t

. . t i

of an over,all program of wage· and price restraint. .In that

Conference we will imt support the Labor Government's nrgument,

an argument that they .accepted against the advice of the

Department of Labour.

It is finally beginning to dawn on Mr ah it lam that some tiling is

■wrong with the economy. ao now says he will try and budget for

a domestic surplus. Does this mean ho will bo able to persuade

the caucus and i.lie Cabinet to cut bad. on the 47 pore on I - increase

in Government spending which o f . ' f i . < : i a 1 s r e | at vt ed 1 y arc considering?

On Liilmr1 s record no-one will believe it. Only foxir days into the

election campaign, Mr Whit lam is already /[raspin': at gimmicks to

try and restore the lost morale of the Labor campaign.

. 1 .

If Labor bad brought down a responsible Budget in 1973, then

inflation today would be significantly lowered.

The Liberal and Country Bar t y 1s economic action plan to cut

' taxes and attack inflation has been presented and debated

throughout Australia for many months. Most of the States have

declared their support, -^-t is a sound , workable plan to repair

tbe economic damage Labor has done to Australia. if is a pre­

condition of our revitalised policy programs for Australia's

future ,