Ahead of the G20 meetings this weekend, the Treasurer has been trumpeting a so-called growth package which will boost Australia's economic performance. But when you get beyond the headlines, there's really nothing to it.
JOE HOCKEY'S FIVE POINT SCAM FOR GROWTH
Joe Hockey needs to front up about how much of his G20 growth package relies on unlegislated and unfair measures which he cannot get through the Parliament.
While Tony Abbott ignores climate change at the G20, Joe Hockey hopes to steal the show by bragging about his new GP Tax, cutting university funding and forcing jobseekers off payments for six months as new ‘growth initiatives’.
Each of the G20 participants have submitted a package of policies which are intended to collectively lift global growth by two per cent over the next five years.
Despite this package being submitted to G20 officials back in September, the Treasurer has refused to release any more details about the specific measures he is relying on to boost economic growth.
According to reports, Joe Hockey’s five point scam for extra growth involves:
- Infrastructure – The Government is not spending any additional funding to that which was already budgeted by Labor, instead re-announcing existing Labor Government projects and funding, as well as cutting funding to public transport. What’s more, Mr Hockey’s much-trumpeted Sydney infrastructure centre looks set to become little more than a post-box for ideas.
- Cuts to Jobseeker Payments - Joe Hockey is actually boasting to the world about turfing jobseekers off all support for six months. How pushing jobseekers into poverty will add to growth is unclear.
- Cutting Red Tape – Much of the government’s domestic red tape repeal package consists of fixing typographical errors. It is hard to see how changing ‘electronic mail’ to ‘email’ in 38 pieces of legislation will boost economic growth.
- Contributing to global trade liberalisation The Government has failed to drive multilateral trade reform – recognised by economists as the best facilitator of economic growth.
- Self-reliant industries – the Government simply re-branded Labor Innovation Precincts, which would only have an 'additional' economic impact because the Government cut the funding to these projects and then re-announced the funding.
Joe Hockey is a laughing stock in Australia – Australians should be very concerned that the Government is unleashing this hopeless and hapless Treasurer onto the rest of the world.
All indications are that this package is full of things Mr Hockey cannot actually deliver, or have no real impact on additional growth, calling into question the Abbott Government’s ability to meet its own target.
Rather than leaking out details of its Five Point Scam for Growth, the Abbott Government should release the economic modelling behind the two per cent growth increase.
We already know that the Government has included its harsh and punitive welfare cuts as a major item in the G20 package, despite these also being blocked by parliament.
Before embarrassing himself in front of Australia’s key international partners, Joe Hockey needs to come clean about how much of his G20 package represents real and achievable growth initiatives.
FRIDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856