PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4125


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 23/05/1976

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 4125

3YB 27 May 1976
Last week I spoke with you about the direct relationship
between excessive wage demands and inflation.
This week, following the Treasurer's statement on social
and economic reforms announced in the Parliament, I want
to expand on that theme.
Excessive and constant wage increases have forced Australians
into higher tax brackets.
My Government
has always believed that Australians pay too much tax.
And we are equally certain that Australians have not been
getting full value for the taxes they do pay.
In both instances, we have already taken measures that will
halt the injustice.
First, the ' Government's personal tax indexation reforms
will genuinly protect the real value of future wage increases.
As the-Treasurer announced, income tax rate scales are fully
indexed according to movements in the consumer price index.
This will exclude the effect of indirect taxes in the C. P. I.
This great taxation reform will benefit every Australian taxpayer.
But perhaps the single most important feature of the reform,
is that it is not a once and for all measure. It will
continue to have significant beneficial effects in personal
income tax payments from year to year.
Any future tax increases will have to be legislated for.
Governments will have to justify spending the tax money
of individual Australians. As I have said, repeatedly,
this measure will again force Governments to become honest again.

It has been made possible for the Government to introduce
full personal income tax indexation -largely as
reclommended by the Matthews Report -because the
Government has acted responsibly in other areas of finance
management. On Thursday, the Treasurer also announced a system of
family allowance destined to stand the test of time as.
ponrees eonf tetdh e tos inthgel e Amuossttr ailimapno rtcoamntm rusnoictyi. al reforms ever
Clearly, the family allowance scheme is a product of this
Government's desire to direc. assistance to those most in need.
SimDlyput, the scheme involves a redistribution of Government
assistance in favour of poor and disadvantaged families.
The scheme will bring a very significant improvement to the
* living, standards of 300,000 low income families and their
800,000 children.
Until now, assistance to families has consisted of
child endowment and dependent rebates. Families too poor
to earn a high enough income to be taxed' were completely
& lebarred from the benefits of dependents rebates a totally
unjust situation.
The great-improvement in the position of low income families
shiould be particularly welcomed by the trade union movement.
1t was only in September of last year, at the ACTU Congress,
that tradie unior. g made this decision in relation to its
wage policy: u'ntil such time as social security payments
are provided which adequately compensate for the differences
in cost of maintaining the dependents of a family-unit, the
ACTU will continue actively to support the concept of a
minimum wage based on a family unit."
My Government has provided just that compensation.
I am sure our intitiatives in both family allowances and
tax indexation will, accordingly, receive the support of trade
unionists. In summary, indexation of personal income tax and our family
allowance reforms Drovide far reaching social and economic
benefits to the Australian community.
They provide a genuine opportunity to restore self esteem
and personal dignity to thousands of Australian familiesparticualarly
the migrants, the poor and the unider privileged.
They also give-th2 nation a real chance at breaking the back
of inflation as the measures will play a significant part
in easing constantly excessive wage demands.

r 3.
"" he measures prove that we are not just a. Government
of words. We are a Government of action.
We are a Government which provides opportunity for
Australians and shows concern for those in need.
This week, the Government again demonstrated its
sincerity in solving Australia's economic and social
problems in another practical way.
Following my address to the nation during which I
asked if the trade union movement would be prepared
to modify its attitude to wages, a three day conference
with the trade union leadership has been arranged.
This conference, the first of its kind for many years,
will bring Government and trade union leaders together
for talks that I expect will pave the way for greater
joi-nt cooperation.
The Government wants cooperation with the trade union
movement, not confrontation. I believe the trade union
leadership share that attitude.
Already, the Government and the trade union movement have
demonstrated that this cooperative attitude can work.
The-Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Street, has
announced that the Government will move ahead and introduce
its secret ballot legislation for trade unions in this
That legislation has been marked as essential legislation.
As a result of discussions that have already taken place
it is better legislation, while at the same time
it preserves our objective of secret ballots.
Furthermore, following suggestions put to the Government
by the trade union movement, we will not proclaim the
legislation until after the three day talks. We acted
in a responsible arnd common sense manner.
This one example is plain evidence of our desire to get
on with the business of good government and to get the
country back on its feet again.

Transcript 4125