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Unemployment figures

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PRESS STATEMENT 8th January,* 75


UNEMPLOYMENT 260/300,000____________

Last month unemployment totalled over 191,000 people. The figures to be released at the end of this week will indicate that that number has grown by something between 70 and 100,000.

Unemployment will be between 260 and 300,000 people.

Does there need to be any greater condemnation of the Labor Government than that.

The Minister for Labour himself said last August that he "would sooner resign than preside over the unemployment of 250,000 people." He is now going to be presiding over that number.

I know it must hurt Mr Cameron because he grew up in the 1930's and would know the personal tragedy of unemployment. His intellectual- based government does not understand that hurt. It is a year since the Minister for Labour started warning that the government's policies would lead to massive unemployment. It took a year's warning before he could even get acceptance for his re-training scheme.

The Prime Minister will say that it is caused by overseas events' He knows that it is a false alibi. The tariff, re-valuation and expenditure decisions of this government have all been Australian decisions. The unreal wage claims encouraged by the government were Australian decisions. The government has at long last recognised that higher wages are destroying job opportunities.

The totality of this government's policies have made Australian indus­ tries uneconomic.

Employment will not move forward again until there is an incentive to individuals to work and an incentive to companies and businesses to invest. Incentives need to be so structured that they would encourage industries to make decisions now. For example, an investment allow­ ance could be based at 40% for decisions made within six months, tap­ ering down to the earlier 20%. Other policies could be structured

similarly. .

There is no pleasure for the Opposition in knowing that unemployment is going to reach these heights, that it will climb even higher in coming weeks. We do not charge the government as they do us with seek­ ing to create unemployment - only with ineptitude and mismanagement which is resulting in persona:! hardship for tens of thousands of

Australian families. .