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Howard defeated in the fight against unemployment.

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Media Release


Martin Ferguson MP

Member for Batman


September 8, 1998




John Howard now expects to put another 50,000 people onto the jobless queue, the Shadow Minister for Employment, Martin Ferguson, s aid today.


“The Charter of Budget Honesty released today clearly shows the Government has put its hands up in defeat in the fight against unemployment,” Mr Ferguson said.


“Spending on unemployment benefits will blow out by $396 million more than originally forecast in the Budget just four months ago, according to the Charter of Budget Honesty released today,” Mr Ferguson said.


“The Charter of Budget Honesty has confirmed the deteriorating outlook for Australia’s jobless under the Howard Government.


“The increased dole outlays mean that the Howard Government expects 50,000 more people to join the jobless queues over the course of 1998-99 than it did at the time of its Budget back in May.


“The Government has already in the last week abandoned its Budget forecast of a 7.75% unemployment rate, revising it up to 8%.


“The extra projected expenditure on unemployment benefits could have been avoided if the Government had cut less deeply and blindly into jobs and skills programs over the last two and a half years.


“The Howard Government’s employment record is hopeless.


“It created less than half the jobs in its first two and a half years than Labor did in Government in the corresponding period.


“No wonder they will not set targets to reduce unemployment when they cannot even stop the jobless numbers swelling ever upwards.


A Labor Government will support the jobless by investing more in job generation and quality skills training,” Mr Ferguson said.


Further info: Andrew Casey, Martin Ferguson’s office (w) 03 9482 4644; (h) 039569 2341