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Unions should repay Keating's Taxpayer-Funded Handouts

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Senator Jim Short Deputy Leader o f the Opposition in the Senate Shadow M in ister fo r Finance

Assisting the Leader on Commonwealth/State Relations

SMF 112/92


Union bosses behind tomorrow's National Day of Industrial Sabotage should give back the millions of dollars of taxpayer- funded handouts they have received from— the Keating Labor Government.

The-Keating Government has admitted so far to doling out at least $8.7 million to its trade union mates in 1991-92. Once all the information has been squeezed out of the Government, the actual figure for last financial year is likely to be closer to the $10 million granted to unions in 1990-91.

Total payments to the trade union movement over the life of the Hawke/Keating Labor Governments is now well over $50 million of public money.

It is disgraceful that these handouts have become either the direct or indirect source of funding for strikes like those in Victoria recently and planned for other States as well tomorrow. Australian taxpayers are forking out for the privilege of

enabling unrepresentative union dinosaurs to hold the community to ransom for purely political purposes.

The electorate is waking up to the fact that left-wing union bosses are more concerned about their reduced power and influence under responsible Coalition governments than they are about the million unemployed Australians who have lost their jobs as a

direct result of incompetent Federal and State Labor Governments.

The very least these union bosses can do is to pay back

immediately all those millions of taxpayers' dollars that they have received. Alternatively, they should redirect these millions of dollars to charities who are helping families hit by the Keating Recession and by the unions' own recent disruptive


There is no doubt that the number of those families will increase as a result of tomorrow's National Day of Industrial Sabotage.

Canberra 29 November 1992

Further information: Rod Woolley 277 3119 (w), 288 9355 (w)