HEALTH AND RESEARCH EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION PAY INCREASE
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: My question without notice is directed to the Treasurer. Was the Treasurer involved in negotiating the Health and Research Employees Association pay deal, which gave wage increases of 7 per cent in the first year of the deal? Did the Reserve Bank, in its report released yesterday, indicate that one of the major reasons for refusing an interest rate cut was the negotiation of wage deals which were providing wage increases of over 5 per cent in the community? In view of the fact that the Treasurer has accepted responsibility for negotiating such wage deals, which have deprived the people of New South Wales of an interest cut, what responsibility does he accept for depriving home owners of that interest rate cut? Can we be confident that he will not continue to negotiate such deals, which are affecting the level of interest rates in our community?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: It is true that as Treasurer I was involved in some of the negotiations with the Health and Research Employees Association.
The Hon. J. P. Hannaford: You took the credit.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I do not think I did.
The Hon. J. P. Hannaford: In the Parliament two weeks ago you took credit.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I am quite happy to do so, but I would have to acknowledge that other people deserve a good deal of credit as well.
The Hon. J. P. Hannaford: Read the Reserve Bank report. It directly attacks these sorts of deals.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: The problem is that the Leader of the Opposition does not know what he is talking about. The HREA enterprise agreement is within the budget parameters that the Government had set. It is a 3½-year agreement and it provides for productivity offsets of 6 per cent in total. The Leader of the Opposition knows that, and he is being dishonest when he does not acknowledge it.