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Reply to opposition claim that government was camouflaging unemployment figures



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IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, AUGUST ?.3TH, 19 79

Labor Government and Opposition spokesmen need to be reminded that

their policies are directly responsible for Australia' s current,

unemployment, the Federal Minister for Administrative S e r v i c e s ,

Uohn McLeay, said today-. . ' . >. /

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1 1 The Labor Party is constantly blaming the Federal Government for

the very problems that it caused itself and trying to confuse the

public over the facts,” he said. , .

The Labor Party policy on . employraent, as for everything else, is

bound by 'the decisions of the ALP Conferences which ax*e d o m i n a t e d

by the trade union bosses. ' .

'Once one group of people obtains a wage rise through strike action

another group of people becomes unemployed," said Mr. McLeay.

"Labor spokesmen have yet to criticise strikers and seem to have

forgotten the warning of. the former Labor Treasurer, Mr. F r a n k

Crean, that one m a n 1 s pay rise means another m a n's job.

"Labor spokesmen, both Federally and State, seem to think t h a t the

solution to unemployment is to expand the number of people w o r k i n g

for government.

"There have even been instances of militant trade unions m a k i n g it

impossible for private employers., who are the real creators o f j o b s ,

to expand their businesses^- Labor spokesmen have always l o o k e d the

Other wav.

"In some areas, such as the building industry, workers m a n a g e to

be paid even v?hen they are on strike and this immorality of ·

militancy is on public view in Adelaide, today with bus d r i v e r s

ordering the sick, the aged, and even children off their v e h i c l e s

whenever a strike is due to begin. We have yet to see c r i t i c i s m oi

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this action by Labor Party spokesmen."

Mr. McLeay was replying to claims by the Federal Opposition,

spokesman for employment, Mr. M. Young, that the Government was

camouflaging unemployment figures. • ' ' - ’ ' ' " ' · - . # ' '

E iMr. Young and his Labor colleagues should be reminded that their ‘

policies are directly responsible for our unemployment," he said.

When the Vihitlam Labor Government took office unemployment was

- ’ ’ 2.4 per- cent of "the workforce * - When it lef t-unemployment was · · - · · ■ ■ ' ·

5 per cent. . . . . . . · . . . . . ......... : · · · . ·.. .

. That meant the Federal Labor Government somehow managed to put

: nearly 200,000 people out of work.

The Labor Government in South Australia, according to the latest

employment figures, had also caused high unemployment with a ratio

of 7.4 per cent of the workforce out of work compared with a

national average figure of 6.4 per cent. . .

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"In combating Labor's destxuctive policies it is worth noting

that the Fraser Government has achieved a record employment figure

of well over six million," said Mr. McLeay. . . . . . . . .

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