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Willis whistling in wind on jobs

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Senator Jim Short Deputy Leader o f the Opposition in the Senate Shadow M inister for Finance & Assisting the Leader on Commonwealth/State Relations

SMF 124/92


The Minister for Finance, Mr Willis, is whistling in the wind if he ^xpects "considerable improvement" in employment next year.

On the day when the ABS reports a massive jobs collapse across the nation, with 78,400 more jobs lost last month alone, Mr Willis's remarks have an air of unreality.

Even the Prime Minister — "Mr 11.4%" — admits there will be no improvement in the employment situation until economic growth accelerates.

While this discredited Labor Government remains in a state of economic policy paralysis, there can be no hope for the 979,000 Australians looking vainly for work.

The Government's so-called "job creation programs" are illusory.

In the local capital works program, for instance, the Government has been forced to admit that it doesn't even have the means to find out whether any more than a handful of new jobs have been created!

At the same time, the respected forecaster, Access Economics, is predicting that economic growth is unlikely to recover this year and that unemployment is likely to remain about 11%.

Access expects real economic growth this financial year to be 2.3 per cent — way below the unrealistic Budget estimate of 3% that the Government continues to cling to.

Today's appalling employment figures make it even more imperative that the Government urgently revise, and make public, its economic and Budget forecasts.

Canberra 10 December 1992

Contact: Rod Woolley (06)277 3119 (w), (06)288 9355 (ah)