Just six days ago the Victorian Treasurer issued yet another of his self-serving and selective media releases that we have come to know only too well. The release was issued following extremely disappointing labour force figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The Treasurer’s hyperbole created the totally false impression that Victoria was in the midst of an economic boom. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth, and that is borne out by the very detail of the figures the Treasurer was seeking to spin.
The fact is last month Victoria’s unemployment rate soared to 6.1 per cent. We are now almost a full percentage point behind our New South Wales cousins, who lead the pack with a rate of only 5.2 per cent. Victoria now has a higher unemployment rate than Western Australia and New South Wales and is only marginally ahead of Queensland, where yet another Labour government has seen unemployment jump by 1.2 per cent in just 12 months.
We even have a higher unemployment rate than Tasmania. That is hardly surprising as that state is set to benefit from this government’s neglect of the forest industry.
If Victoria enjoyed the economic success of New South Wales, almost 30 000 more Victorians would now have a job, but they do not on this government’s watch.
The reality is that since December 2014, 266 000 Victorians have joined the workforce. Of those extra members, not much more than half, some 61 per cent, now have some form of employment. Almost 40 per cent of new entrants to the labour force since December 2014 are not working, compared with New South Wales where three-quarters are working.
The Treasurer may be a genius at spin, but as Treasurer he is a total failure.