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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Mr BERINSON (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Treasurer a question related to his recent public statements that the annual rate of inflation of 4%, as indicated by the March figures, is intolerable. To enable the aims and effectiveness of the Government's economic policies to be measured will the Treasurer indicate what rate of inflation he would consider tolerable? Does he believe that a reduction to that level will be achieved by present economic policies, including the increase in bank and now hire purchase interest rates? If this is his belief, when does he expect that level to be reached? As the Treasurer's recent statements invariably link the inflationary trend with present high levels of employment, is it an aim or at least an expected consequence of present policies that levels of employment should be reduced? If so, what level of unemployment would he consider tolerable?

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