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Transcript 7773


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/10/1989

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 7773

13 OCTOBER 1989

JOURNALIST: Prime minister, the Liberal Party's tax policy seems to be a bit of an electoral winner.

PM: would you like to bet? Just let me say this briefly
about this misnomer that was issued yesterday. It's called
an economic action plan. I'd say three things about it. It
is economically irrelevant. It is socially outrageous.
And it is factually false. Let me indicate what I mean by
that. It is obviously economically irrelevant. It is not
an economic action plan. It offers no alternative to the
basic economic strategy that is being followed by this
Government. Indeed it would inevitably mean higher interest
rates under their proposals. Secondly it is socially
outrageous because it represents an immediate return by the
Liberals and National Party to the socially divisive and
inequitable policies that characterised their period in
government before we came to office in ' 83. It represents a
situation where they will increase payments to the well off
in the community at the expense of those legitimately in
need the poor, the Aborigines, the migrants and it
disadvantages in education terms the lower income groups in
the community. Thirdly it is factually false. It says in
the document in regard to the investment boom that is going
on at the present time, it says in much of the investment we
have seen it's been in areas it says with little prospects
of producing significantly higher export incomes. In this
same week that they have produced this falsehood, Access
Economics, the organisation which they used to cost their
programs, has published a report on investment in this
country. They list 500 projects of $ 5 million or more each
which are either under construction, or are committed, or
under consideration, which total $ 90 billion. Of that
billion of project, 54% are actually in the category of
being under constructi-on or committed. And in respect of
those, Access Economics in its document says that they will
generate increases on an annual basis in export income of
billion and in total with those under consideration
billion. So, as I say, the document is economically
irrelevant. It is socially outrageous. And it is patently,
on the bas-is of the Liberal's own organisation that they've
used, Access Economics, it is factually false.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you said this helps the well off. Most Australian families with children wouldn't consider themselves well off.

PM: No, but I'm not saying that in the area of families
that they are not a legitimate area of consideration.
That's why in fact we have in our period of office done the
things which are important for families. Most particularly
of course in the area of education where we have now created
a position where the children of this country, irrespective
of the income levels of their parents, now have an
infinitely greater access to, commitment to, and retention
within the education system. What I am saying is that in
the area of their massive handouts that they are proposing
they are putting no income testing on it. So that families
which are very, very well off and who according to the
philosophy which has been outlined for instance by the
president of the Liberal Party who says that all outlays in
the welfare area should be means-tested, they have abandoned
any pretense at means-testing so that the most well off in
the community will get increased benefits while those who
are most in need, and legitimately in need, will have
benefits taken away from them. It will be a case of the
poor paying for the wealthy. It will be a case of the rich
getting richer and the deserving poor getting poorer.
JOURNALIST: Is it a clever political document Prime Minister?

PM: No I don't believe it's a clever political document. I believe that it contains further seeds of the destruction of this discredited conservative coalition.

Transcript 7773