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Tuesday, 11 December 1973
Page: 2622

Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is the Government fair dinkum about its anxiety to control inflation in Australia? If so, why has the Cabinet made the irresponsible decision to provide an annual leave loading to Commonwealth public servants that will cost at least $27m a year? How does the Government expect the rest of the community to resist copying this example which, in the face of the state of the economy, can only be described as gross mismanagement?

Senator MURPHY -I am not really the person to answer these questions. My understanding of the matter is that this follows what has been negotiated in outside industry and that certain undertakings of the Government are involved. It is part of the resolution of the terms and conditions of employees. One cannot simply pick on the employees of the Government and say that there is to be no advance in their wages and conditions, and hope to cure inflation in that way. All that that would lead to is industrial unrest. Surely these matters must be determined on the basis of fairness and equity right across the board. That is what the Government is endeavouring to do. It would like the assistance of the Opposition parties, not their obstruction, in its endeavours to deal with the problems of inflation.

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