Aug 19, 2004

Can the Prime Minister be trusted?

CAN THE PRIME MINISTER BE TRUSTED?

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 19 August 2004

Today on Adelaide radio the Prime Minister misled listeners when asked about the monthly unemployment and employment statistics produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

INTERVIEWER:

I think one of the problems is that unemployment statistics mean that if you work for an hour a week you’re technically employed, but very few could live on that.

PRIME MINISTER:

No, they don’t. I mean, if you look at the dole and everything, which is a cross check… that’s.. it’s not as simplistic as that, it really isn’t. You know one of the big problems I find with employment now is the shortage of skilled people…

Well Prime Minister for the record it is that simple and the interviewer’s statement was absolutely correct.

According to the ABS, the organisation that prepares the monthly labour force statistics, the definition of an employed person is:

“Employed persons include all persons aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week:

• Worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business…” (Source: ABS Australian Labour Market Statistics, 6105.0, July 2004, p89)

Either the Mr Howard deliberately attempted to mislead the public or after 8 years as Prime Minister he still doesn’t understand how the ABS collects and reports labour market statistics.

Be it Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, Children Overboard, the GST or even the use of labour market statistics, the Prime Minister can’t be trusted.