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Reducing unemployment beyond the government

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John Hewson

Leader of the Opposition MEDIA RELEASE


4/93 14 January 1992


Today's news that nearly a million people were unemployed with the unemployment rate at the staggering level of 11.3 per cent in December underlines Labor's inability to deal with the real problems facing Australians.

The unemployment figures confirm that the recession is deeper and more protracted than expected, and that the initiatives outlined in Fi h c^tback! Fairness and Jobs are needed to kick start the economy.

It is essential that Australians work together to solve our social and economic problems. This is not possible if a million people are deprived of the right to work by a government which has lost control of the economy and lost sight of how to govern in the interests of Australian workers.

Detailed unemployment figures released recently by the Department of Employment, Education and Training show that not only has Labor failed to assist Australians, but that areas with relatively high proportions of Labor supporters have been hardest hit. Even Bankstown in the Prime Minister's own electorate had an unemployment rate of

12.4 per cent in the September quarter 1992, and that was before the large increases in unemployment in recent months. A round Australia the sto ry was the same: Brunswick 22.9 per cent, South Brisbane 24.2 per cent, Adelaide 20 per cent, Fremantle 20.7 per cent and Brighton (TAS) 24.7 per cent.

While these statistics are stark enough, they mask the full extent of the tragedy that Labor has inflicted on Australians in general, and even more so on its own supporters, as was highlighted in a paper released . by EPAC today. It is estimated that the additional unemployment since the recession began has resulted in

an annual economic loss to Australians of $23 billion 20 more murders every year 800 more divorces every year 4400 less marriages every year.

The Government must put an end to these intolerable levels of unemployment and the disastrous social consequences thereof.

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