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A desperate act for desperate men: budget "hides" the unemployed

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MEDIA STATEMENT Philip Ruddock MP Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

21 August 1992

REF: 4-2_| ^ 2 -


The Keating Government has desperately tried to cover up Australia's record unemployment in the Federal Budget in an effort to save the Prime Minister's job, according to the Liberal Candidate for Berowra and Federal M em ber for Dundas, Philip Ruddock MP.

"Instead o f trying to successfully address the unemployment crisis the Government was hiding as many unemployed as it could in short term training programs and "make work" schemes.

"There are far too many people unemployed in our own area, and it causes m e grave concern to think that these people, many at the start o f their careers and many with valuable skills, are not being given the opportunity to work."

A t present the local unemployment figures provided by the D epartm ent o f Social Security are as follows:

DSS Office July, 91 July, 92 Difference

Baulkham Hills 1038 1669 +631

Hornsby 2000 2778 + 778

Parramatta 3597 4774 +1177

Ryde 1786 2422 + 636

Chatswood 1338 1845 + 507


Electorate Parliament House

Tel: (02) 858 1011 Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (02) 804 6739 Fax: (06) 277 2062

These startling figures show how many local residents are currently receiving either the Jobsearch allowance or the Newstart allowance and how many more are receiving these benefits as compared with the same time last year. T hese figures do not adequately reflect the magnitude o f the problem as there are many more who are working reduced hours and many who do not claim unemployment benefits.

Mr Keating hoped that by covering up the unemployment problem he can save his own job.


Mr Ruddock said the Government would spend $3.6 billion to hide 100,000 unemployed in training schemes. It is a classic case o f "cooking the books".

"At the same time the Government was misleading the Australian public about the full extent o f the unemployment crisis because, despite the fact that these people would not be fully employed, they will no longer show up in unemployment statistics", Philip Ruddock continued.

The "official" Australian Bureau o f Statistics number tends to understate the true nature o f the unemployment crisis.

"For example, ABS figures count as employed anyone with even an hour o f paid work in the previous month. This means that people working short-time due to the recession are not considered to be "genuine" casualties o f the recession."

According to the latest labour force statistics, there are 514,000 part time workers who want to work more but cannot.

"My concern lies mainly with the people o f our own area who have found it difficult to find work. A Coalition Government, I believe could offer the unemployed people o f our community new hope and new inspiration. Our Fightback Package with its comprehensive plan to combat unemployment by creating real jobs in a healthier

economic environment, would offer unemployed Australians the chance o f a full time job rather than the prospect o f a life on welfare and hopelessness."

"In particular, our youth training wage and A U ST R A IN Programs offer young and older unemployed Australians genuine jobs and training opportunities".

For further information on the Fightback Package, please contact Philip Ruddock's office on 858 1011.