Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government must start being frank with Queenslanders about its economic management.
“Typically Treasurer Tim Nicholls withheld publication of the latest State Accounts to give him time to spin a misleading story about them,” Mr Pitt said.
“It’s clear the Newman Government has not got the message from the Redcliffe by-election.
“It’s not listening and it’s not being honest with the people of the state.
“Overall the latest State Accounts figures are nothing to be proud of. Private investment, dwelling investment and business investment all contracted in the September Quarter in Queensland. (See link at end)
“The main component propping up growth once again was exports. Household spending also remains weaker than it was under Labor.
[singlepic id=553 w=320 h=240 float=left] “The Treasurer seizes on growth in gross state product of 4.1% over the year to the September Quarter last year.
“But he neglects to mention that growth over the year to the September Quarter 2012 was 4.9% and growth over the year to the March Quarter 2012 was 6.2%.
“The fact is the Queensland economy has slowed under the Newman Government, but what else could we expect from a government that sacks almost 20,000 people, slashes and burns frontline services, does not invest in infrastructure, and has spent the best part of two years talking down the state’s finances.
“The latest figures show that Labor left year-average growth of 4.8% which has slowed to 4.1% under the first year of the Newman Government with household spending, private investment, dwelling investment and business investment all weaker under the LNP.
“In 2011-12 net exports shaved 3.8 percentage points from growth following the flooding of coal mines in late 2010 and early 2011.
“In 2012-13 net exports contributed 2 percentage points to growth. Despite this turnaround in exports the economy has still slowed under the Newman Government.
“Meanwhile domestic economic activity has slowed substantially from 8.3% in 2011-12 to 2.2% last financial year.”
Mr Pitt said despite the Treasurer’s spin most Queenslanders would judge the LNP’s performance on whether they had a secure job or not.
“On the jobs front the Newman Government has been an abject failure,” he said.
“We all know the Premier promised to have our state heading to a 4% jobless rate over six years, but the state’s unemployment rate still hovers around GFC levels at 6.1% for January.
“Just yesterday new data showed Queensland had the biggest increase in underemployed workers over the year to September 2013 was more evidence that Campbell Newman has broken his promise to create jobs for Queensland.
“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in September 2013 there were 178,200 underemployed workers in Queensland, up from 143,200 in September 2012.
“Campbell Newman is asleep at the wheel while Queensland is facing a jobs crisis.
“A 24.4% increase in the number of underemployed Queenslanders in one year is the highest increase in the nation and a cause for real concern within the community.
“These tragic underemployment figures reveal the number of Queenslanders that would like to work longer and harder but simply can’t find any opportunities under the Newman Government.
“We also know that our kids are finding it harder than ever to get work, with youth unemployment in Cairns at 20.5% and Ipswich at 16.8%.
“The Treasurer clearly isn’t listening saying he ‘disputes’ the ABS underemployment figures just as he denies the Auditor-General’s finding that he wasted $2.6 billion of taxpayers’ money on the Premier’s new and unnecessary Executive Building.
“Last week, Queensland’s unemployment rate rose to 6.1% seasonally adjusted, up from 5.5% when Campbell Newman was elected, and a world away from the 4% he promised his Government would deliver.
“Queensland’s participation rate, or the percentage of Queenslanders looking for work, is now 1.7% lower than it was in March 2012.
“It’s another Campbell Newman broken promise that is hurting families across the state.
“Mr Newman likes to pretend he’s listening, but if he was he’d act immediately to allay the concerns of Queenslanders who want to work but can’t under his Government’s economic management.”