The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, has criticised Treasurer Joe Hockey’s defence of Australia’s shocking unemployment situation, saying 600 new jobs a day is still not good enough.
“If the Abbott Government thinks it can build a stronger Australia by offering just 600 new jobs a day, they are selling this great country short,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“For a country as big as ours, with so much to offer, that is setting the bar very low,’’ he said.
“On the back of this week’s labour force figures showing a rise to 6.4 percent unemployment – the highest in 13 years – urgent policies are required that create long term economic growth, not the cost cutting measures favoured by the current government,’’ Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer said his views on Australia’s economic future were shared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which recently released a report warning the Abbott Government that its “plans for fiscal tightening should be carried out without undue prejudice to growth”.
Mr Palmer said the IMFs report cautioned the government against fiscal policy and budget cuts for fear of weakening Australia’s potential growth at a time when the economy was particularly vulnerable.
“The government should be doing all that they can to promote Australia’s growth and instead all they plan on doing is introduce new taxes or spending cuts,” he said.
Mr Palmer has reiterated his call for a National Economic Summit that would enable both sides of politics plus economists, business and community leaders to generate ideas to stimulate the Australian economy.
“All we hear from the Government at the moment is plans for new taxes or spending cuts, we need to stimulate the economy like they have done in the US and create jobs,” he said.
“I call on the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott to hold a National Economic Summit to find ways to restore business confidence in Australia.”