JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
ECONOMIC AND BUDGET BOUNCE DESPITE THE GOVERNMENT, NOT BECAUSE OF IT
In its latest Budget Monitor, Deloitte Access Economics highlights that growth in the economy is patchy, Budget improvements are largely due to factors beyond the Treasurer’s control, and the Morrison Government’s “vaccine schemozzle” is harming Australia’s recovery.
Welcome improvements in the economy are despite the Morrison Government, not because of it.
A lack of empathy, urgency and repeated policy failures by Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are putting jobs, livelihoods, and the strength of the recovery at risk.
We know Australia’s recovery would be stronger and broader without the Morrison Government’s bungling of the vaccine rollout, quarantine failures, and a stubborn refusal to put in place meaningful policies that will actually create jobs.
The Deloitte report attributes much of the economic and budget improvement to factors unrelated to the Morrison Government, including the substantial and selfless sacrifices of Australians to suppress the virus, the re-opening of state economies and remarkably high global commodity prices.
It provides a frank assessment of the Morrison Government’s litany of failings when it comes to supporting jobs and incomes in recovery, including its botched vaccine rollout, lack of targeted support in hard-hit industries and regions, JobMaker’s comprehensive failure to create jobs, and longstanding challenges with record low wages growth and weak business investment long before COVID-19.
According to the Budget Monitor:
- The economy is “aided by the world giving us a pay rise despite the recession (via prices for iron ore, LNG and thermal coal)”
- “Merely succeeding against the virus and opening up once more won’t be enough of itself. You’ll know recovery is truly underway when business finally opens its purse once more.”
- “To be clear, the economy remains under a lot of pressure.”
- “Growth is likely to lose most of its ‘opening up bounce’ ahead of mid-2021”
- “Wage growth has been low over the past decade, and strikingly low over the past five years. So its further step down during the COVID crisis means that wage gains are already plumbing previously unexplored depths.”
- “The vaccine schemozzle suggests more targeted support will be required”
- “Targeted wage subsidies – mini-me JobKeepers – would be a better use of taxpayers’ money.”
- “JobMaker … isn’t making jobs.”
- “A lack of air travel is a symptom, so a program aimed at subsidising airfares on specific routes is a pretty blunt instrument to protect specific jobs”
Australians deserve credit for suppressing the virus and working together to keep our economy moving, and a Government that’s on their side and won’t leave them behind in the recovery.
Instead of a comprehensive plan to create secure, well-paid jobs, the Morrison Government’s vaccine debacle, cuts to support, ideological attacks on job security and superannuation, and a Budget riddled with rorts and waste, will only make things worse.
Only Labor is fighting to build an economy that is stronger and fairer after the pandemic than it was before.
After eight long years of job insecurity, weak wages growth and rising underemployment, this Budget can’t be yet another missed opportunity to invest in people, their jobs and their future.
MONDAY, 3 MAY 2021