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Thursday, 14 November 1985
Page: 2167

Senator CHANEY —Can the Minister for Finance, representing the Treasurer, guarantee that the interest ceiling on bank home loans will not be increased in the six months following the South Australian election?

Senator WALSH —The Treasurer made a statement about a month ago saying that the ceiling on housing loan interest rates would not be increased. He also issued a statement on 13 November-yesterday. In making this decision the Government remains of the view that the current 13 1/2 per cent ceiling on bank home loan rates should remain unchanged. Senator Chaney referred to the South Australian election, and this might be an opportune time to warn South Australians what will happen if there happens to be a Federal Liberal Government. The shadow Treasurer yesterday said that the Commonwealth Government should not pay the 2 per cent real increase to the States which was forecast in this year's Budget. It would cost South Australia about $25m if that Liberal Party policy were to be implemented.

Senator CHANEY —I ask a supplementary question. The Minister showed his usual aptitude for commenting on Liberal policy while being totally unable to answer questions about his own policies. As he is aware of those statements by the Treasurer, how long will that undertaking last? Can he guarantee that it will last six months after the South Australian election?

Senator WALSH —The Treasurer can issue the Treasurer's guarantees. I will refer the question to him.