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Ged Kearney

No jobs in federal budget, unions say

Unemployment in Australia is running at an unacceptably high rate – 6% for the population as a whole and a worrying 13.65% for those under 25. Unemployment rates among 15-19 year olds have hit 20%.

But for the Coalition government this problem doesn’t seem to exist – not, at least, if we’re to judge by the federal budget.

Of course the budget was billed as a win for workers and their families. But union leaders say that in fact the big ticket items announced in the budget, such as the tax concessions for small business, won’t be enough to stimulate employment in this sector.

After all, while $20,000 might buy you a new ute, it’s not going to be enough to encourage you to take on more staff. And if the money’s spent on imported manufactured goods there’s no boost to local employment either.

Meanwhile, there are no significant measures to create jobs and rise productivity through infrastructure spending or through skills and training development.

“This budget is a missed opportunity to stimulate the economy with spending on infrastructure that would have boosted our manufacturing industry and created new jobs and apprenticeships,” ACTU President Ged Kearney said.

“It’s the work of a government more interested in keeping its own jobs than creating jobs for Australians.”

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