Sep 24, 2004

What Senator Patterson doesn’t tell you


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 24 September 2004

Today’s media statement from Minister Patterson regarding the number of people on unemployment benefits is a desperate attempt to conceal the true magnitude of entrenched joblessness within the Australian community.

Here are the facts the Minister conveniently fails to mention.

According to the Minister’s own department – the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS):

  • Since 1999 very long term unemployment – those on benefits for more than 5 years – has jumped by a staggering 68 per cent to 126,650;
  • Since 2001 the number of Australians aged under 21 claiming unemployment benefits for more than 12 months has increased by 10.5% to 49,121.

What’s more, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has recently reported that:

  • Since 1996 the number of children growing up in families without a working parent has increased by 8 per cent.

After 13 years of continuous economic growth you would expect long term and very long term unemployment to be going down, not up. These figures are an indictment on the Howard Government’s policies and once again highlight their indifference to the most vulnerable people in our society.

A Latham Labor Government will make sure the benefits of a strong labour market are enjoyed by all groups across all communities.