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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Number 19, 1976.]

Contradictions

Contradictions

So we have the interesting spectacle of a Government on one hand proud of the reliance it places on private enterprise. On the other, doling out tax dollars fast to bolster firms' profits in agriculture and export manufacturing. A Government that cannot raise taxes much for fear of bankrupting retailers but has to pay out more to help others from bankruptcy.

It's quite clear that with such a situation, there's no way the Government deficit can be heavily reduced. It was a return to comparative sanity that there were no new hare-brained schemes to hit Government expenditure. Yet the effects of the cuts so far, especially in works deferred, will be with us for a long time.

The only policy to reduce inflation was the already announced wage-freeze. Apart from the travellers tax, nothing to better the balance of payments. But the Government has taken severe measures to reduce unemployment figures. It has made it harder to register as unemployed. Watch those figures drop (Labour did the same thing last year......lies, damned lies and unemployment statistics).

So most of the problems of the capitalist economy remain unchanged. The complete failure of the Labour Government to take firm action (e.g. with import controls) is continued by National. You'd think laissez-faire overseas action would at least be questioned by now. And in the major part of the budget the economy pushes the Government into a corner and a major contradiction.

Muldoon sat down, a sustained National Party applause. I can't work out whether because of the Budget or the fact he'd finally sat down. Probably the latter. A bubble of relief settled into the Chamber.