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72,616 bankruptcies a shameful legacy of the first three years of Howard Government.

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Media Release

The Hon Duncan Kerr, MP

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs

Shadow Minister for the Arts

Federal Member for Denison


16 July 1999


72,616 bankruptcies a shameful legacy of the first three years of Howard Government


“Bankruptcy figures released by the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia confirm that the Howard Government’s policies are making it harder for Australians to stay financially afloat,” Duncan Kerr, Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs, said today.


“1997/98 saw a staggering 11.81 % increase in the number of bankruptcies from the previous year. A further 8.07% increase in 1998/99 took the number of registered bankruptcies during that year to 26,378.


“The three financial years under the Howard Government have sent a total of 72,616 Australians bankrupt. Behind each of these statistics are ordinary men and women and the families who depend on them.


“This is a disgraceful situation,” Mr Kerr said.


“No one plans to find him or herself in a situation where the size of mortgage debts, car or other loans have reached the point they cannot keep up the repayments. No one wants to be in the position where they can no longer support themselves or the families they love.


“The grim expectation is that these figures might increase further, now that the Government has burdened Australia with an unwanted and unwarranted GST.


“Among those who were forced to declare bankruptcy during 1998/99, 18.8% were caused by failed businesses.


“According to the recent Preparing for the GST— An Australian Survey report released by Ernst & Young, most businesses have very little understanding of the GST and associated transition issues.


“This bodes very ill for the potential number of future bankruptcies.


“How many more small businesses and individuals can we expect to go under in the future, aided by the burden of Mr Howard’s unfair tax?” Mr Kerr asked.


Contact: George Haddad 0419 009214



jk  1999-07-19  10:23