Whatever it takes, except anything

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 8th, 2009 - 6 comments
Categories: australian politics, bill english, economy, employment - Tags:

A reader has spotted that Hide wasn’t the only minister telling porkies in Parliament yesterday. Fortunately for Bill English, he’s too smart to breach privilege:

‘The Government is concerned about anyone losing their jobs; that is why we will do anything we can to help people to keep secure the jobs they have or to get new ones if they lose them.’

Yeah, a 9-Day fortnight no-one is using, a cycleway that won’t be built, and job cuts in the public sector. They’re really giving it their all huh?

‘Opposition members need to get their lines sorted out. They have been telling us that we should copy the Australian fiscal stimulus, when Australia’s unemployment rate is close to 6 percent—whereas our fiscal stimulus has kept our unemployment rate down to 5 percent. So which one is it: copy Australia’s plan and force the unemployment rate up, or stick to our plan and keep the unemployment rate lower?’

Actually, Australia’s unemployment rate was 5.7% and hours after we learned ours was up from 4.7% to 5.0% they announced theirs had dropped to 5.4%. Why? Because the Australian government has been investing in saving and creating jobs. Yeah, we would be fools to copy them.

6 comments on “Whatever it takes, except anything”

  1. Where Bill English made a mistake was in his assumption that it is the government’s job to create or retain jobs.

    I would think before we get into the best way to achieve job creation/retention, a discussion should be had on why it is the government’s job.

    • Maynard J 1.1

      Let’s not have a repetitive discussion on basic principles of governance. Ahh hellfire, why not?

      I will make an assumption: that people expect a government to provide job security, and to stimulate the employment market in recessionary times.

      Madeline, if you disagree with the assumption, please feel free to explain, if you agree with the assumption, but disagree with that which is assumed, please also explain why.

      To kick it off: the market, left to its own devices, is not an effective means of ensuring full employment, and it is not acceptable to subject people, workers, to the whims of the invisible hand, when there are measures that can be taken by the government to mitigate the effects of a negative period.

      I will add that the government does not have a monopoly on job-creation, and those available to the private sector can be pursued by the private sector, but this is at the discretion of the private sector, and the general public have little influence. Where measures are available to the government, they should be taken.

  2. StephenR 2

    Because the Australian government has been investing in saving and creating jobs.

    What’s the difference between what Australia has done and what the US (with its rising unemployment rates) has done?

    “investing in saving” sounds pretty odd when presumably that means borrowing to do it, but I am but an ‘umble layperson.


    But the unexpected strength of the data is being viewed with a high level of suspicion. Anecdotal surveys of labor market demand have been weak for some time and economists still expect the unemployment rate to continue rising.

    “It’s bad form to disbelieve a data point that doesn’t fit with your own view. But I’m going to do that — I don’t believe today’s number,” said Gerard Minack, economist at Morgan Stanley.

    “I think the leading indicators, the anecdotes, the announcements are right: jobs are being lost,” he added.

    Treasurer Wayne Swan is expected to announce a sharp upward revision in the government’s unemployment forecasts in Tuesday’s 2009-10 budget, raising it from 7% by mid-2010 to more than 8%.

    The fall in Australian unemployment should be taken with a “large grain of salt,” as the data doesn’t match evidence from the broader economy, said Brian Redican, senior economist at Macquarie Bank.

    There is a high chance that the April employment data represents a statistical aberration, Redican said. “You do have to really question whether this is a one off monthly aberration.”

    What does it say about Australia’s spending tactics if unemployment gets up to 7 or 8% ?

  3. aj 3

    The truth is that Labour policies over it’s 9 years in government left strong publics accounts and and vibrant private sector in a good position to retain jobs.

    • ssaammmsooonnn 3.1

      We were flying so high with the eagles and wallowing with the pigs the next minute. 6 billion surplus to 10 billion deficit.

      The frieghtening thougth is that apart from China and India is that Australia, Canada, (who both have lived off the swines back through metal commodities), and NZ have escaped with a liquid banking system. (Michael Cullen may win some points but the balloning of public spending by 20 million within 5 years negates his balance sheet)

      Helen and Michael had no idea that they will living in the same fantasy world as 1922 to 1929 and 1870 to 1880. Pigs are lucky to when they come to power. Some are more equal than others.

  4. ssaammmsooonnn 4

    Read 20 billion of new government spending, instead of 20 million.

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