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Election Issues



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PRESS STATEMENT WEDNESDAY, MAY 15.

EMBARGO AGAINST DELIVERY 8 P.M.

NOTES FROM A SPEECH BY THE HON.. J.M. FRASER, M.P., IN SUPPORT OF THE LIBERAL MEMBER FOR BENDIGO, . JOHN BOURCHIER, CASTLEMAINE, AT 8 P.M.

. Mr Whitlam is letting down the very people he

deceived into supporting him seventeen months ago - the

average A-ustralian wage earner. While Mr Whitlam enjoys

the trappings of office in Canberra:

0 . . . . Working days lost through industrial -disputes

in the first year of Labor Government were a third

higher than in the previous year, .

The wage earner loses days and weeks of pay,

which takes him months and years to recover. So

much for Labor's claim that its closeness to the

union movement would reduce the incidence of .

strikes. Instead, Mr Whitlam and Mr Hawke engage

in running public battles on everything from tax

increases to the Middle East. And Mr Hawke is

President of Mr Whitlam's own Party! '

. Inflation is quickening, not slowing. The

average wage earner finds that increased tax,

grocery bills, housing and other interests, mean

. he is actually worse off than he was eighteen

. . .months a go, despite gross wage rises. .

' If Labor is permitted to pursue only its ·

. already announced expenditure programmes, and

inflation continues at its present accelerating .

• rate, then the 1974/75 Budget would be bigger

than last year's, according to the projections of

. independent authorities. ·

' To pay for this staggering amount Mr Whitlam's

. only choices are massive tax increases,' or cuts in

his spending programmes. He refuses to announce

spending cuts and he is committed publicly to a

surplus budget. Enormous tax rises are the only-

possible alternative, despite his panic stricken.

outburst that he will cut taxes. .

Mr Whitlam's new housing policy is a. dreadful

trick on the working man. He claims big savings

for the man on $4,000 a year, by making the interest

on his home loan tax deductible. How many families .

with total gross incomes of $4,000 or so can afford

to buy houses these days? ·.

. Virtually, the only homes they can afford are

State Housing Commission homes. Yet the Federal

. labor Government has sought to prevent these low

income earners from buying their own homes by

threatening to withhold Federal housing funds from

the States if they persist in offering Housing

Commission homes for sale. .

Mr Whitlam's revaluation, tariff and import .

. quota policies, have, already cost the jobs of ■

hundreds of people in the textile and footwear

. industries, with many thousands more under threat.

There are 200,000 people working in these

highly decentralized industries. Many country

towns and cities rely on the textile and clothing

• factory as.a major source of employment. .

CANBERRA 15. 5. 74.