Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the LNP Government is directly responsible for the increase in unemployment in Queensland to 6.3 per cent up from 5.5 per cent in March.
Mr Pitt said the latest labour force figures for the September quarter released today show 19,494 more people are unemployed in Queensland since March with 20,854 jobs lost from August to September.
“The Newman Government has sacked 14,000 government workers and also slashed funding to hundreds of programs which provide employment in the non-government sector,” Mr Pitt said.
“We have been saying for months that the Newman Government’s slash-and-burn Budget strategy would result in an increase in unemployment and now it has been confirmed by labour force figures and their own bureaucrats.
“In Tuesday’s Estimates Hearing the Under-Treasurer confirmed this, advising that the slowing employment growth this financial year is partly a result of the LNP’s program of savage cuts to jobs and services which are having a flow-on impact to Queensland’s economy.
“There is no hiding for the Premier and Treasurer they are accountable for the increase in unemployment in Queensland. It will be simply embarrassing if they try to blame the previous Labor government for this outcome.
“These are the highest unemployment rates in Queensland in nearly a decade and higher than during the height of the Global Financial Crisis.
“These figures are not a product of a global financial crisis but a Newman-Nicholls financial crisis.
“The Premier and Treasurer must now explain how they propose to meet their key election commitment of keeping unemployment at 4 per cent.
“The Newman Government’s job cuts are now also dragging down the rest of the nation, with job losses nationally accounted for by drop in employment in Queensland.
“These figures today completely derail the LNP’s pre-election talk of ‘getting Queensland back on track’.
“The Queensland people have been conned by this Newman Government who said one thing before the election, and have done another after the election.
“While the economic impact of their severe budget measures and mass sackings are there for all to see, the social cost is still not fully known.”
Extract from Hansard – 9 October 2012
Mr PITT: Thank you for that. At page 42 of Budget Paper No. 2 it states that fiscal consolidation is a factor toward lower employment growth forecasts in this financial year. Can you confirm that this reference to fiscal consolidation includes 2012-13 budget measures?
Ms Gluer: Yes, I can confirm it does. Could I also refer you to the answer to question on notice No. 2, which also sets out further details in regard to the question you have just asked.
(Page 50 Hansard Estimates—Treasury and Trade (Proof) 9 October 2012)