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Monday, 16 September 1985
Page: 544

Senator PARER —I direct my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I refer the Minister to his statement on 8 November 1983 when, claiming credit for a drop in interest rates, he was asked by Senator Chaney whether he would accept responsibility for any rise in interest rates. Does the Minister recall saying: `Of course. We have to.' Will the Minister now concede that this Government, which promised a drop in interest rates this year, is responsible for the historically high levels of real interest rates which now prevail?

Senator BUTTON —Any government in office, whether correctly or not, bears responsibility for the level of interest rates. It bears that responsibility in the electorate, otherwise some honourable senators would not be asking all these silly questions today.