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The decision of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission

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■ The Treasurer, Mr. Howard, described today's

decision of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission

as extremely disappointing. .

Mr. Howard noted that the March Quarter rise in

the consumer price index on which the decision was based - .

1.3 per cent - was the smallest for that quarter since

1972. It seemed that the Commission had been Swayed by .

this fact to reverse the policy of partial indexation

which had been reflected in its indexation decisions over

the past two years.

The Commission has failed to recognise

the link.between wage increases and unemployment.

Today's decision could only delay the time when

the economy would be restored to a condition in which there

were greater job opportunities.

. The Treasurer noted that the Commission had decided

that the March quarter hearing was the last under the existing

indexation rules, and that the inquiry into wage principles

will be resuming on 20th June.

It is to be hoped, the Treasurer said, that at.

the very least, the outcome of that inquiry would be a decision

for less frequent indexation hearings, so that there would

be some respite from ever-rising wage costs.

7th June, 1978.