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Vanstone a victim of her own spin.

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Wayne Swan - Vanstone A Victim Of Her Own Spin Wednesday, 01 August 2001

Vanstone A Victim Of Her Own Spin Wayne Swan - Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

Media Statement - 31 July 2001

The release today of the Amanda Vanstone Fact Sheets, re-hashed from her speech to a conference at the University of New South Wales almost a month ago, are unlikely to resonate with the experience of average Australians.

Minister Vanstone and her colleagues in the Coalition are likely to be the only people who would accept at face value the assortment of graphs featured in the Minister's own 'Fact Sheets'.

Putting aside the experience of most Australians, here are a few facts that Minister Vanstone ought to explain:

Poverty & Inequality: (Source: National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling) Why is there over 130,000 more children living in poverty under the Howard Government? ● Why has there been a 40% increase in the number of children in working poor families? ●


Why does the Minister want to claim credit for low-income wages growth when the Coalition Government has opposed every living wage claim? ●

Children in Jobless families: (Source: ABS 6224.0) Why have the number of children growing up in jobless families increased since the election of the Howard Government? ●

Government support for families: (Source: ABS 6401.0, ABS 6302.0, DSS and Centrelink rates) Why is childcare more than 16% more expensive for families since the election of the Howard Government? ●

Why is a family on average weekly earnings with two dependent children (one unemployed and over 18) almost 7% worse off in real terms compared to the same family in 1996? ●

Household debt: (Source: unpublished data from ABS 5206.0) Why has Household debt risen by nearly 80 per cent since the Howard government was elected? ●

Unemployment: (Source: ABS 6202.0, DSS and Centrelink data) Why has the number of people stuck on unemployment benefits for more than 12 months failed to fall despite five years of economic growth? ●

If the GST was so good for the economy, why has the unemployment rate increased? ●

Pensions: (Source: 6302.0, DSS and Centrelink rates data) Why has the base pension fallen as a proportion of average earnings under the Howard Government? ●

Economic expansion should bring with it a range of benefits. The test of a just society is whether these benefits are shared fairly between all citizens.

It is a test that the Howard Government has failed - both in the experience of average Australians and the range of social and economic indicators listed here.

Minister Vanstone's efforts today serve only to show how out of touch the Howard Government has become. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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