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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 3247

Senator Sheil asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did the Prime Minister on 28 October 1 974 make several predictions on the economy and unemployment: if so. did he forecast that inflation and unemployment would continue for the next 6 months, both at the present levels and not higher, and then the situation would improve in both areas.

(2)   Are these predictions based on the same source of information that led the Prime Minister to tell the nation in May that inflation was dropping and would be down to 8 per cent by the end of 1 974.

(3)   What new measures are proposed to cause a marked improvement in the economy at the end of the next six months.

Senator Murphy - The Prime Minister has provided the following information for answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) and (2) On 28 October I indicated in the course of a television interview that I did not expect a significant improvement in the prices and employment figures for the December and March quarters. I also expressed the view that measures to improve the economic situation could not be expected to have an impact in less than about 6 months. Comments I have made from time to time on the likely future course of the economic situation have, of course, been made on the basis of the considerable volume of data on economic matters available to me from a variety of sources.

(3)   The Government has taken a number of measures to improve the economic situation in recent months and these have been well publicised in the media. The most recent measures were outlined in my statement to the Parliament on 12 November 1974 (Hansard, pages 3341-9). The Government is continuing to watch the economic situation closely and will take further measures as appropriate.

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