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Liberals Still in Denial on Jobs

23 Aug 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

This month marked the tenth consecutive month of declining employment and participation rate in Tasmania.

The Treasurer still clings to his flimsy line of 1,300 jobs created since the election, conveniently ignoring the fact that the working age population has increased by 5,700 in that time.

Most stark of all is the fact that, since the State election, the number of people classified as “not in the labour force” has increased by 11,200.  This is an alarming statistic.  Behind it are multiple human stories of people who have given up looking for work.  They have lost hope.

In Question Time today, the Premier and his Treasurer were still unable to acknowledge that there is a concerning and sustained decline in jobs.

The best the Treasurer could offer is that the situation is not as bad as during the Global Financial Crisis. Apparently abandoning his March 2014 benchmark after it became clear it was no longer fit for the purpose of making current figures look comparatively strong.

This is political posturing at its most transparent and cynical.

Today illustrated the government’s abject failure to deal with, or even acknowledge, any negative economic conditions.  This is a significant part of the problem.

The Liberals have run on a platform of jobs and growth, yet it seems rather than do anything about declining employment and economic conditions, they would rather put their fingers in their ears and hum loudly to themselves about how terrific they are.

Nothing points to the inability of the Liberal Government to understand where our job growth sectors lie like their stance on resources.

The new Minister for Resources, Mr Barnett, today spruiked the Liberal Government’s progress in forestry sector reforms. Apparently he neglected to read the latest NAB report, which pointed to continued structure decline in the Forestry Sector.

Unfortunately, in the case of Forestry Ministers, it appears that the third time is not the charm.

The credit downgrade announcement from Moody’s illustrates that the budget cuts have not only impacted on Tasmanians, but have also failed to deliver a more sustainable budget.