Aug 27, 2003

Oh Mal – please get it right


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 27 August 2003

Mal Brough has today released a media release that is just plain wrong.

Let’s set the record straight.

Claim 1: The Job Network has been more successful than the old CES at placing jobseekers into jobs.

The facts:

The latest data from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) shows that in the year to March 2003 the Job Network placed 309,000 people into work. By comparison, in 1995/96 the old CES helped 382,716 unemployed Australians into work.

Put simply these figures show that the old CES outperformed the current Job Network by 25%. Furthermore, the CES never sought to place the unemployed into jobs with escort agencies or money launders.

Claim 2: The Job Network gets better outcomes at a lower cost to taxpayers than previous programs.

The facts:

The most recent DEWR data shows that 46% of those who participated in Intensive Assistance (IA) – the highest level of help available through the Job Network – found some form of employment upon completion. By contrast the previous Labor Government’s JobStart program was achieving employment outcomes of 59% – 13 percentage points better than IA.

In terms of the cost to the taxpayer, the Productivity Commission found that the cost per off-benefit outcome for IA was $22,010 compared with only $9,700 for JobStart.

Obviously, Labor’s JobStart program was significantly more cost-effective than the Job Network’s Intensive Assistance.

Claim 3: Long-term unemployment has fallen.

Data from Department of Family and Community Services shows that the number of people receiving benefits for more than 12 months is today (380,000) higher than it was when the Howard Government was first elected to office in 1996 (350,000).

Minister Brough should move beyond his current state of denial and spend more time fixing the ailing system he has created than worry about a system that was dismantled by the Howard Government when it came to office more than 7 years ago.