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Tuesday, 30 April 1957

Mr COSTA (BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Was the Minister for Labour and National Service correctly reported when he stated that the increase of 10s. in the basic wage would mean higher costs, could reduce employment opportunities and add to our difficulties in maintaining cost stability? If the Minister was correctly reported, does the statement mean that the Minister is against wage justice as founded on the cost of living? Does it indicate also that the Minister's reference to increasing costs is a hint to his profiteering friends to pass on the 10s. increase to consumer goods, and thus rob the wage and salary earners of an overdue wage increase? What is the basis of the Minister's claim that the wage increase could reduce employment opportunities, and why is he alarmed on this point when, as we all know, he frequently claims in this House that the employment figures supplied by the department under his administration show that there are thousands more vacancies than there are persons to occupy them? Why is the Minister always upset when a wage increase is granted and always silent about profit increases?

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