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Labor's FBT changes stop work at Ford

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Media Release

Sophie Mirabella MP Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science

Thursday 22 August 2013

Labor’s FBT changes stop work at Ford

The ramifications of Labor’s recent move to change FBT arrangements have crashed to a new low today, with news of stand-downs for Ford workers.

Revelations today from the Victorian Government that Ford has organised six down days in the next six weeks represent what should be the final nail in the coffin for Labor’s shock decision last month to rip up the existing arrangements for the thousands of Australians who have salary sacrificed and employer provided cars.

Kevin Rudd and his Clayton’s Industry Minister, Kim Carr, need to immediately step in and put an end to this mess, by following the Coalition’s commitment to reverse this dreadful policy.

Their decision has already resulted in hundreds of job losses, with thousands more expected. It has also been estimated by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries that it is likely to trigger a 20 per cent fall in car manufacturing in Australia - an estimate that has clearly been given further weight with today’s developments at Ford.

“It’s ironic that Mr Rudd is in Geelong today, making more of his meaningless promises about job creation, when Ford employees are being told by their company that there is no work for them,” Shadow Industry Minister, Sophie Mirabella said.

“Senator Carr also seems to have spent the last week accusing everyone else of not being a supporter of the car industry or Australian manufacturing - at the very same time as another of his hair-brained policies is, yet again, causing untold damage for manufacturing businesses and workers.

“Mr Rudd and Senator Carr need to end this shambles, and finally acknowledge that the best way governments can help manufacturing businesses is to stop loading them up with new taxes, regulations and other costs.

“This is something that has completely eluded them for six years, and unfortunately still continues to do so.”

Liberal candidate for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said Labor’s FBT changes are a direct attack on the car manufacturing industry in Geelong, after it had already been devastated by the carbon tax.

“Ford’s decision today, again highlights the obvious reality that Labor’s words about car industry funding are nothing more than spin,” Ms Henderson said.

“The people of Geelong are paying the price for Kevin Rudd’s policy on the run.”

“The cost to Geelong workers and the Geelong automotive industry will be ongoing - all for a pre-election political bribe made by Mr Rudd.”

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