The Coalition has made an election pledge to create 1.3 million new jobs over five years if they are returned to government.
Australia’s unemployment rate is the centre of the Coalition’s latest election pitch, with party leader Scott Morrison hoping a promise to create more local jobs will return him to power.
Morrison said the current 4% unemployment rate was a 1.7 percentage point improvement on the rate when Labor was last in government.
“My government has created 50% more jobs than what we saw when Labor faced the GFC, despite an economic crisis with the pandemic that was 30 times bigger.
“Boosting jobs creation to the levels we saw even before the pandemic is key to our plan for a stronger economy,” Morrison said in a statement on Tuesday.
Despite all the vows for a bigger, better economy and more jobs which come with it, Morrison did not explain how its plan would deliver these additional jobs.
Workers and small businesses were the beneficiaries of tax relief measures introduced by the his government, Morrison argued, which demonstrated a commitment to skills, trades and the local manufacturing sector.
Morrison told a press conference in Parramatta this morning his team knew when to pull levers to stimulate the economy and strengthen the budget — getting people off welfare and turn them into workers who pay taxes kept the economy strong, he said.
He lauded the work of public servants, the treasurer and finance minister who worked into the late hours of the night to try and develop a payment solution that would help buoy the Australian economy during the economic fallout of border closures and public health lockdowns.
“We’ve worked hard [during the pandemic] to get to the point where we can really take advantage of the economic opportunities that this country now has in front of us. It’s the biggest economic opportunity since the post-War era,” Morrison said, referring to the period after 1945.
“We knew when to start [the interventions], we knew when to stop it, and all the other measures we put in place have [also] set Australia up to save 700,000 jobs so businesses around the country can be looking forward with confidence.”
Rather than explaining the plan Josh Frydenberg, who was the treasurer in the 46th parliament, said everything was laid out in last month’s budget. He also pointed to the government’s track record navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anthony Albanese and Labor don’t have a plan for the economy and for jobs and can’t be trusted to manage the budget,” Frydenberg said.
“With more people in work and fewer people on welfare we have seen a $103 billion turn around in the budget bottom line. The largest and fastest improvement to the budget bottom line in over 70 years.”
Frydenberg also took a swipe at Albanese for the Labor leader’s failure to recall the national unemployment rate during a press conference yesterday, observing that perhaps Albanese did not want to pay attention during his budget address last month.
“In the budget, we printed an unemployment number with a ‘3’ in front of it — we expect to see unemployment 3.75% by the September quarter — which would be the lowest level in 50 years. If you think this is luck, you are wrong, it is the product of an economic plan that is working.”
Stuart Robert, whose portfolio (employment, workforce, skills, small and family business) encompassed all the policies Morrison wanted to flaunt as good for Australian jobs, said local job numbers were better than what they were before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with more than 370,000 additional people in work. This was thanks to the work of the Coalition government, he said.
“We have established the $2.1 billion JobTrainer Fund with the states and territories, providing 478,000 free or low fee training places in areas of skills need,” Robert said.
“Under our government, youth unemployment has reached its lowest level in over 13 years and there are a record 220,000 Australians in trade apprenticeships,” he added, noting Labor’s previous youth unemployment figures meant more than 50,000 people in this age group were out of work the last time they were in office.
The prime minister also said that his government’s economic plans for health, defence, security and national capital works were big things only a strong economy could deliver.
“We as a government have been able to guarantee those essential services, because we’ve been able to continue to strengthen the budget, even in these most difficult times.
“Do you want to not know how to balance a budget? You get people off welfare, where they’re actually receiving benefits, and you turn them into workers, where they pay taxes,” Morrison said.