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Thursday, 14 February 2013
Page: 1462

Employment


Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (14:38): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to his statement that the job creation record of this government is unequalled anywhere in the world. Is the Treasurer aware that without the advantage of a mining boom and the 150-year record high terms of trade, Germany has added over 2 million jobs over this period, Korea 1.2 million, and that in percentage terms jobs growth has been stronger in Mexico, Turkey, Luxembourg and even Chile? Why can the Treasurer not get his facts right? (Time expired)


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:39): It is simply too silly for words. We are the 12th largest economy, but when it comes to population we rank 51. So now we are going to go on and he is going to argue that the rate of growth in employment in Germany, or wherever else he was quoting, is somehow larger—he wants to compare a developing economy to a developed economy. He wants to mix up all of these apples, pears and oranges and then try and get a valid comparison. You cannot do it.

Everyone on this side of the House is absolutely proud of the job creation performance of our country. It reflects the hard work of millions of Australians and people in business who have really put their nose to the grindstone in the most difficult of global conditions—so much so, that we did not go into recession during the global financial crisis and the global recession. Through that we grew, almost alone amongst developed economies. All the other developed economies went into recession. We stand here with an unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent. Just go around all of the other developed economies in the G20 and then go around the rest. This is an outstanding performance. And because we did not experience the massive increase in unemployment that occurred in many other developed economies it would be the case that our employment growth as a percentage would be smaller than that witnessed in other economies where unemployment had been far higher because of the global recession. These are just facts.

We know that those opposite are in deep denial about the most basic of economic facts. And because they are in deep denial about the most basic of economic facts they are a danger to our country, because they do not understand the basics of economic growth and job creation. They do not understand why it is important to have good fiscal policy. They do not understand why it is important to support an economy when there is danger in the global economy. They understand none of these things. They run around our country and talk our economy down every day. They exaggerate debt levels. They make untrue statements. They talk the economy down and the consequence is they are unfit to run a $1.5 trillion economy.