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home / archives / 1975 / 20th August

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A farewell symphony...

In 1975 the Federal Labor Party was under the leadership of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and under severe pressure with popularity polls indicating that the government had as good as lost office. The Treasurer, Bill Hayden, delivered his first and only Federal Budget after taking over from Dr. Jim Cairns who had resigned the position. The Budget included a number of much needed reforms to a system of taxation that had been largely unchanged for 20 years, but also included large increases in excises on products such as oil, alcohol, and tobacco.

At the time Bill Hayden stated that some sacrifice and patient restraint was needed if the budget was to work, but with large increases in the price of petrol, alcohol, and cigarettes predicted it became clear that the public was unlikely to grant either.