Dec 10, 2003

Latham right; Andrews misleads

LATHAM RIGHT; ANDREWS MISLEADS

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 10 December 2003

This morning on 774 ABC Melbourne the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, misled listeners about the levels of long-term unemployment in Australia.

Minister Andrews claimed that the Leader of Opposition, Mark Latham, was wrong when he told 774’s Jon Faine:

“We’ve still got the same number of long-term unemployed Australians as we had in 1996…”

Figures produced by the Government itself confirm that Mark Latham is absolutely correct.

Data from Department of Family and Community Services shows that the number of people receiving benefits for more than 12 months is today (352,000) roughly the same as it was when the Howard Government was first elected to office in 1996 (350,000). Source: Labour Market and Related Payments, October 2003

Furthermore, the number of people on unemployment benefits for more than 2 years has doubled from 135,657 in 1996 to 281,289 by 2003.

Source: Estimates Question on Notice No. 10

These statistics clearly show that the benefits of economic growth are not being shared equally across our society.