“He’s a can-do prime minister,” she said, “He’s got a vision for this country, he’s got a lot of issues to deal with but he’s performing strongly and he will retain the support of the vast majority of the party room in order to lead us to the next election.”
These are the words of Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop on 26th March when asked if the Government might dump Malcolm Turnbull as party leader. Let’s unpack this seemingly simply statement and juxtapose it with the March 26th Fairfax-Ipsos opinion poll.
The poll puts the government 10 points behind Labor, (55/45%) on a two-party preferred basis, so one might expect a show of support for an embattled leader. But to say he’s a ‘can-do’ prime minister is ridiculous.
If Malcolm was a can-do PM, we would have marriage equality, we would have an emissions trading scheme, we would be heading toward becoming a Republic. Most likely, we would have a state of the art NBN, not the second rate one he was forced to cobble together when he was Telecommunications Minister.
If Malcolm has a vision for this country, it has not emerged thus far. What has emerged is his willingness to cave in to the far right of his party in an effort to keep his job. Not a good look from an electoral point of view.
When is it going to become apparent to the MSM that the Federal government’s “Jobs and Growth” mantra is a farce? In fact, it’s far worse than that. It is an utterly deceptive political stunt to give the impression that they have a plan and the plan they have, is working.
And this seems to have become the standing mantra. The constant reminders that they are doing the job that will lead us back to prosperity. The only problem is, what they say, is not what they do.
“In last year’s Budget, I said we needed to focus on jobs and growth … Since last year’s budget, we’ve made good progress,” Scott Morrison told the AFR Banking and Wealth Summit on 6th April. What rubbish. There has been no improvement this financial year.
“I repeat my standard monthly warning – we always have to be careful interpreting month to month movements given the way the Labour Force Survey is constructed and implemented.
Today’s figures show that the Australian labour market has improved in March 2017, although we have been led down this path before in recent years.
Total employment rose fairly strongly, relative to its recent history – by 60,900 but it was the strength of full-time employment (up 74,500) that is welcome.
The curious fact is that despite the strong full-time employment performance, total monthly hours barely moved.
But the analysis shows that employment growth over the last few years has been zig-zagging around the zero growth line on a more or less monthly basis with some positive spikes such as we saw in March 2017.
So it is too early to form a view that this month marks a turning point in a positive direction.
Over the last 12 months, Australia has gained 67.8 thousand full-time jobs (in net terms) and gained 78.1 thousand part-time jobs.
Overall, employment has grown by only 145.9 thousand jobs (net) – a fairly modest annual figure.
While this month’s surge in full-time work represents a break in the dominance of part-time work, we need more months like this before we can reject the obvious conclusion that Australia has become a nation of part-time employment growth with all the attendant negative consequences – poor income growth, precarious work, lack of skill development etc.
Underemployment remains high at 8.5 per cent and taken together (unemployment and underemployment) there were 14.7 per cent of the labour force counted as broadly underutilised (1,890.3 thousand).
The teenage labour market remains in a poor state even though this cohort shared in the full-time employment growth in March 2017.
Overall, the state of the Australian labour market is tenuous verging on weak.
It is clear that the current restrictive fiscal policy position adopted by the Federal government is not sufficient to redress the inadequate non-government spending growth.
It is also clear the cutbacks the Government is planning in the May Fiscal Statement are unwarranted.”
So where is the growth? Where are the jobs? Overall, the labour market is weak and showing no signs of improvement. Yet Malcolm Turnbull continues to spruik his government’s commitment to job creation. He is either a supreme optimist, or a very poor salesman. Either way he is spruiking rubbish.
His hapless bunch of Coalition cohorts put on a brace face but can clearly see the writing on the wall. In the coming months look for a diversionary campaign. Something, anything to distract the voters’ minds from the bleeding obvious.
There have only been 52.4 thousand jobs (net) added in Australia over the last six months while the labour force has increased by 82.2 thousand. Furthermore, employment growth over the past twelve months has failed to keep pace with population growth. We are going backwards and the Coalition government are a monumental failure.
They simply do not know how to arrest a declining economy.