Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says a member of the Newman Government Cabinet has revealed the truth Treasurer Tim Nicholls has been denying about the state of the Queensland economy.
Mr Pitt said while the Treasurer was continually trying to hide his failings as the state’s economic manager, fellow Cabinet Minister Glen Elmes had confirmed the Opposition’s view that Mr Nicholls had presided over a dramatic slide in the state’s fortunes.
“Glen Elmes has experienced a sudden burst of honesty by confirming our state ‘is not performing well economically’,” Mr Pitt said.
“Mr Elmes cited the state’s poor economic performance to justify the Newman Government’s appalling handling of wage negotiations with its own public sector employees.”
Mr Elmes said wage negotiations depended on the state’s economic performance and added: “….it’s no great surprise the state is not performing well economically…” (ABC TV News 30 July 2013)
Mr Pitt said the statement by Mr Elmes was diametrically opposed to those of the Treasurer who continued to claim the lower economic growth of 3 per cent he had delivered for the state economy was better than the 4 per cent rate he inherited from Labor.
“Mr Nicholls called Queensland a ‘basket case’ when growth was at 4 per cent under the former government,” he said.
“In addition Queensland’s unemployment rate has increased from 5.5% at the 2012 election to 6.4% — a decade high and up with levels not seen since the GFC.
“ABS Labour Force statistics show that there are 13,700 fewer full-time jobs in Queensland than when the LNP were elected despite our growing population and the number of unemployed people in our state as confirmed by Queensland Treasury Corporation is at a 15-year high.
“In its first full financial year in office the Newman Government was responsible for the weakest jobs growth in more than 20 years.
“All of these indicators and more show how badly Queensland has fared under the Newman Government with Tim Nicholls as Treasurer.
“The only bright spot is that at least one Cabinet Minister has had the guts to admit the truth,” Mr Pitt said.