Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says under the current LNP leadership the dysfunctional Newman Government has no hope of generating almost 200 jobs a day to reach its target of 4% unemployment over six years.
“As long as the Premier, Deputy Premier and the Treasurer are preoccupied with keeping their own jobs they are not focussing on creating jobs for Queenslanders,” Mr Pitt said.
“I am pleased to see the latest ABS figures indicate a rise in the number of jobs created during November in our state,” Mr Pitt said.
“It shows that the economy the LNP inherited was fundamentally solid despite repeated claims to the contrary by the LNP over the past nine months.
“But the fact remains that 151,200 Queenslanders are unemployed, and that’s over 14,500 more than when the LNP came to office in March.
“Prior to the March state election the Premier said he needed to generate 420,000 new jobs to reach the 4% target over six years — that’s the equivalent of creating around 190 jobs a day.
“But the LNP is creating roughly 24 jobs a day while around 60 people a day join the jobless queue.
“That’s a bus full of people joining the jobless queue every day under the dysfunctional LNP government.
“Our jobless rate is also still hovering around the level not seen since the global financial crisis.”
The latest ABS unemployment figures show the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 6 % in November, roughly steady compared with the 6.1% October figure following a spike of 6.3% in September when around 20,000 jobs were lost in the LNP’s first State Budget.
Mr Pitt said a range of recently released indicators underlined the need for the Newman Government to stop its internal brawls and focus on generating jobs for Queenslanders.
“Economic growth figures released on Wednesday by the ABS showed Queensland experienced its worst quarterly result for state final demand since the global financial crisis — a 1.6% fall between the June and September quarters,” he said.
“That represented $800 million of government spending being ripped out of the state economy.
“State final demand is a key measure of economic growth and on Tim Nicholls’s watch both it and unemployment have returned to GFC levels in Queensland as a result of the LNP’s mass sackings and savage funding cuts,” he said.
“The Treasurer cannot simply blame the high $A which has been above parity with the $US for most of the past two years.”
Mr Pitt said the Commonwealth Bank’s economics research team predicted at the time of the September State Budget that the LNP’s cuts would weigh on the economy for years.
“The responsibility for this latest economic growth result rests at the feet of the LNP leadership team of the Premier, the Deputy Premier and the Treasurer,” he said.
“They are all too busy battling LNP brawling and saving their own jobs to concentrate on managing the state economy and the impact of their savage job and funding cuts.
“Last week — as the LNP lost three of its MPs — the Pitcher Partners state tax review showed the LNP had also lost Queensland’s position as the lowest taxing state for small to medium enterprises and its job cuts had generated the lowest business confidence in the nation.
“Queensland went from first to second in tax competiveness for SMEs and from first to fifth for medium sized businesses.
“The Pitcher Partners’ report attributes a drop in tax competiveness to stamp duty increases by the LNP government. The Budget Papers show tax per person has increased by $76 under the LNP.
“In addition the Sensis Business Confidence Index released last Thursday showed Queensland’s business confidence had plummeted to the lowest in the nation.
“The report directly links this loss in confidence to people no longer spending and suggested the Christmas period will be tough with a 21% drop in sales from November to January.
“This is only logical because if you are worried about a job you aren’t going to be opening your wallet or using your credit card this Christmas,” Mr Pitt said.