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Government whacks exporters in worst slump in 50 years.



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FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION, INDUSTRY AND TRADE

19 June 2003

Government whacks exporters in worst slump in 50 years

The Howard Government has severely cut export incentives just at the time when Australia is experiencing its worst export slump in almost 50 years.

Austrade officials today revealed to a Senate Committee that exporters eligible for more than $60,000 in Export Market Development Grants will receive only 33 per cent of their entitlement above $60,000. This is sharply down from the 75 per cent they received last year.

By cutting the EMDG scheme in 1997 from Labor’s $202 million and capping it at $150 million, the Government has slashed the scheme by 36 per cent in real terms.

Each year exporters are receiving thinner slices of the EMDG scheme to the point where they are now being offered a few crumbs.

These cuts to the EMDG scheme are being made in a week where two surveys point to a grim outlook for Australia’s manufactured exports.

The AIG/PWC Survey of Australian Manufacturing reveals the worst result for manufactured exports in more than four years. The Westpac-ACCI Survey of Industrial Trends confirms a poor manufactured export performance in the last few months and the worst expectations since the East Asian economic crisis in 1997-98.

Australia's exports

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

Apr.1996 Apr.1997 Apr.1998 Apr.1999 Apr.2000 Apr.2001 Apr.2002 Apr.2003

$ billion

Seasonally adjusted Trend

Source: ABS cat . 5368.0.

Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386 or Brendan Shaw 0413 013 501