Well, you thought he couldn’t do it; you thought that Tony Abbott was indulging in intemperate exuberance [or telling fibs] when he said in 2013 that during the first five years of his reign as Emperor of Australia, he would create one million new jobs.
Well, you would have to eat your words now, wouldn’t you? Because not only did he achieve his goal, he did it mostly from the back-bench and that’s not easy. One million new jobs, WOW!
But, as frequently happens with our former Prime Minister’s moments of triumph, there is always some smart-arse lefty statistician running around ready to prick Tony’s balloon with annoying facts.
In this case the party-pooper is none other than Chris Richardson of Access Economics, annoyingly using Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data to support his comments, by saying:
“Check out ABS Labour Force figures over the last 15 years. They show, on average, 200,000 new jobs have been created each year.”
Those of a mathematical persuasion will notice that 200,000 new jobs a year translates to one million new jobs every five years for the last fifteen years.
So what’s going on? The coalition wouldn’t be spinning yarns would they? Surely, that nice Mr Turnbull wouldn’t be selling us porkies [as well as stealing Tony’s moment in the sun] would he?
Well it seems that Tony’s achievement was not such a big deal after all; some would say he just had to keep the ship of state on an even keel and he would reach a safe harbour and be home and hosed, whatever. He could have spent his time chasing female staffers around the ‘monley-pod’ to have achieved the same result – or is this just the prerogative of National Party leaders?
In coming months we will be told ad-nauseum that the coalition created one million new jobs over the five years from 2013, which we now know to be a furphy. Even former coalition Treasurer Joe Hockey said on more than one occasion that government’s don’t create jobs, businesses do. This is the same Joe Hockey who, incidentally, on the subject of housing affordability offered this insight:
“The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money.”
He also noted, when defending proposed changes to the fuel tax in his 2014 budget that the increased fuel tax “will hit higher income households harder, as poorer people don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far”.
Not surprising that the coalition shortly thereafter helped Joe pack his suitcase and sent him off to graze in the ‘long paddock’ of Washington DC.
So remember, whenever coalition politicians say, in coming months as they surely will, that they have created a million new jobs over the last five years that, by their own reckoning, Labor did a spiffing job over the period of the GFC in maintaining relatively high employment. Or, you may think that none of them ever created any jobs at all, which is probably closer to the truth.