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ONE TRILLION OF DEBT BUT NOTHING TO TACKLE THE JOBS CRISIS

December 17, 2020

JIM CHALMERS MP
SHADOW TREASURER
MEMBER FOR RANKIN

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY


ONE TRILLION OF DEBT BUT NOTHING TO TACKLE THE JOBS CRISIS

 
Any recovery in the Budget and the economy is welcome but today’s mid-year update contains no new measures to tackle the jobs crisis, build for the future or help struggling families and small businesses.
 
The defining features of today’s update are record deficits, a record trillion dollars in debt, weaker wages growth, almost a million unemployed including 340,000 young people, and another 90,000 Australians expected to join them by March.
 
The economy is a bit stronger now than the Morrison Government and most forecasters imagined in the depths of this crisis, but is still much weaker than it needs to be.
 
The economy still hasn’t rebounded strongly enough or quickly enough for the 2.2 million Australians who are looking for work or more work right now.
 
Josh Frydenberg’s failure to respond to this jobs crisis or build a better recovery is an insult to the millions of Australians who have made enormous sacrifices this year.
 
In his flurry of slogans and self-congratulation the Treasurer seems to have forgotten those Australians who still don’t have enough work.
 
This Government is saddling Australia with one trillion dollars of debt but unemployment is still too high for too long, with the jobless rate not expected to get back to pre-crisis levels until 2024.
 
The update confirms cuts to JobSeeker and does nothing to tackle insecure work, generate cheaper and cleaner energy, create opportunities for women, or improve access to child care.
 
As we close out 2020, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are content to sit back and take credit for high iron ore prices and the re-opening of state economies while indulging in ideological obsessions that will hurt millions of Australians.  
 
Despite further downgrading their own wages growth forecasts, the Liberals are using the pandemic as an excuse to cut workers’ pay, cut super, and strip credit protections from borrowers.
 
Scott Morrison’s attack on workers and his festival of waste, rorts, and favours for mates means his Government has record levels of debt but not enough to show for it.
 
Instead of a plan to deal with flat wages, high unemployment, small business closures and big businesses cutting jobs, Australians are getting a wasted recovery which is leaving too many people behind.
 
THURSDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2020