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Excessive stimulus package won't secure jobs.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

4 February 2009


The Rudd Government’s second stimulus package is too large and poorly directed and the Coalition will oppose it, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

“While there are some good parts of the package - such as re-instating the Coalition’s school funding package which Labor scrapped last year - this package is too large and the composition is poor. It is not a responsible or sustainable way to run the national economy,” Mr Hawker said.

“Most importantly, it doesn’t target jobs, and as we have heard time and time again, jobs should be the focus of any government action at this present time.”

Mr Hawker said the Coalition’s alternate response would be more effective in protecting Western Victorians from the effects of the financial crisis.

“Through a range of tax cuts and small business incentives, the Coalition’s proposal will improve the cash flow position of small and medium businesses and help them create and protect jobs in the region,” he said.

“It’s an old saying, but a job is still the best form of welfare, and Labor’s one-off cash hand-outs can never take the place of a weekly income for local families.”

Mr Hawker said he knew the Opposition’s position would not be popular, but it is the right thing to do.

“Running up excessive debt in times of uncertainty flies in the face of all household economic sense. Almost all economists agree that the recession has a long way to go. And yet the Rudd Labor Government is panicking, firing all its bullets at the first engagement,” he said.

“We consider that the package is poorly targeted, ill-thought through and irresponsible in today’s economic climate.”

Mr Hawker said there is no evidence the Government’s $10.4 billion spending package before Christmas created the 75,000 jobs Labor promised.

“Even with his reckless cash hand-outs and massive, debt-fuelled spending, the Prime Minister’s package predicts unemployment will top 7% in just over a year - another 300,000 Australians out of work,” he said.

“The Coalition’s measures are not only fairer. They also represent a better targeted and more effective stimulus for the economy by better protecting jobs.

“The Coalition is committed to sound economic management and to ensuring that Government spending is of high quality and reduces the burden on Australian taxpayers and generations to come.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118