Aug 13, 2004

Brough resorts to desperation and lies


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 13 August 2004

In a deliberate and disgusting attempt to mislead the voters of Longman, Mal Brough has been paying for radio ads claiming that Labor will scrap Work for the Dole.

This is a blatant and deliberate lie. If Mr Brough is at all concerned about trust and honesty in politics he would do the right thing and immediately pull his ads off the air.

Labor has already publicly announced that if elected Work for the Dole would be retained. This commitment was contained in Labor’s Youth Guarantee: Learn or Earn released by the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, on 14 May 2004.

It is also worth remembering that it was Labor in 1994 that first introduced mutual obligation into Australia’s welfare system. We obviously remain committed to it.

Furthermore, no matter how many radio ads Mr Brough buys he cannot conceal the fact that when he was Minister for Employment Services the number of very long term unemployed Australians – those claiming benefits for more than 5 years –increased by 68%.

As well as deliberately misleading voters in his own electorate, Mr Brough’s dishonesty reveals the lengths his Government is prepare to go in a desperate attempt to win re-election and conceal the fact they no positive agenda for the country.

It is ironic that in a week when 43 distinguished Australians have called for truth and honesty in politics, Mr Brough has been paying for radio ads containing deliberate lies.

While Brough resorts to lies, Labor has announced positive plans for the future:

• Youth Guarantee: Learn of Earn – a $700 million program to prevent today’s early school leavers becoming tomorrow’s long term unemployed;

• Greater security, more opportunity for mature age Australians – a $212 million investment in the job security of older workers.

These are policies the Howard Government has had 8 years to develop and failed to do so. The time for action is now and only Labor has a positive plan for the future.