Just in case anyone hasn’t noticed, our economy, the former darling of the OECD, is fast becoming a basket case. We are now far from the post-GFC days (2008-2013) when we were the envy of the 34 member OECD world. Back then we avoided a recession because our then Labor government acted quickly and prudently to stimulate the economy.
The reality today is that we have slipped down the list in nearly every measurable OECD category since. In other words, the coalition management of our economy has been an utter failure.
Thanks to Alan Austin at Independent Australia, we can now compare our position from election time 2013 to the March quarter of 2015 with all other OECD members on the vital statistics of unemployment, youth unemployment, deficit, debt, terms of trade, interest rates and competitiveness.
The figures are a damning indictment of the Abbott government made more so because they were elected by a majority of Australian voters who believed they were the better economic managers. Many still believe this despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Joe Hockey said recently that anyone who talks down the Australian economy is a clown. This, from a man who as shadow treasurer, talked it down relentlessly. But unfortunately for Joe and the rest of us, talking the economy down today, is simply stating the facts.
Unemployment today at 6% is worse than it was when Labor were defeated in 2013 (5.7), but when compared to the OECD countries, we have now slipped from 8th overall, to 13th.
Similarly, youth unemployment has worsened from 12.65% to 13.6%, while the OECD average has improved from 21.61% to 19.38%
On budget deficits, a key election issue and where some wild promises were made by both Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, we have gone from 1.2% of GDP to 3.1% in just two years. In so doing, we have fallen from 10th in 2013 to 22nd today. The average OECD rate is 2.78% of GDP.
In 2013 our Gross Debt to GDP was 28.6%. We were ranked fourth lowest out of 34. Today it is 34.5% and we are ranked 9th highest. For those who constantly harp on our so-called debt problem, how’s that working for you now?
Our bond issuance has increased by $100 billion in just two years. This, when we have been told that the adults are back in charge.
Our terms of trade which is reflected in the difference between the dollar value of our exports and imports are looking decidedly frightening. In 2013 we ranked in line with the average at 98.3 index points. In March 2015 that had dropped to 85.7 points.
In the meantime, the OECD average has increased from 98.81 to 101.67 index points. Our decline was the worst of the 26 nations that record this indicator.
Finally, when interest rates fell to 2.5% in 2013, Joe Hockey said, “If interest rates come down today, it is because the economy is struggling, not because it’s doing well.” They have since fallen to 2.0% well below the OECD optimum band of 2.75%-4.75%. By any consistent measure, Joe Hockey has failed abysmally and should resign.
Little wonder the Abbott government is expending so much energy trying to put the fear of terrorism front and centre. On global competitiveness, we have slipped from 20th in 2013 to 22nd in 2015.
Even in our own region we sit 7th in the top 10. We fail to make the top ten in Higher education, Infrastructure and Innovation. These latest figures are evidence of the Abbott government’s failures for all to see.
Trying to deflect attention from the reality of their economic mismanagement might work for some but it will come back to bite them eventually, despite the MSM’s reluctance to focus on it.
They should know by now they have been played for suckers.
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