News

Higher unemployment rate attributed to Qld Govt cost cutting

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls. Dave Hunt

OPPONENTS have leapt on bad news released by the Queensland Treasurer to land some blows over widespread cost-cutting which included the sacking of 14,000 workers.

The latest data showed unemployment at 0.25% higher than forecast in the September budget figures, rising to 6.25% as growth fell from 4% to 3.75%.

Both the Queensland Labor Party and public service union Together Queensland attributed both to what they described as the State Government's attacks on workers, frontline services and its own negativity about government debt.

These cuts were not enough to stop the government going deeper into debt - $11.2 billion from the September prediction of $10.7 billion.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls blamed the ugliness contained in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review on worsening international conditions.

Mr Nicholls said the fall in both the value and amount of coal exports was largely to blame, as were state funding cuts made by the Federal Government.

He said the State remained enroute to deliver a $534 million surplus in the 2014/15 financial year.

Opposition treasury spokesman Curtis Pitt said the government was trying to hide from criticism by releasing the report so close to Christmas.

"The mid-year review shows worsening unemployment and deteriorating economic growth as a direct result of the LNP's slash-and-burn policies," Mr Pitt said.

"It is no wonder the Treasurer tried to release the latest budget mid-year review and its grim news a few days before Christmas when he thought nobody would pay much attention."

Together Queensland secretary Alex Scott said the LNP government had to begin to see workers and the community as humans doing it tough.

"Everyone knows that other than our politicians who continue with its cuts which are too fast and too deep," Mr Scott said.

"Unemployment is a human tragedy, not a statistic."

When quizzed on whether its "fiscal repair" - its term for slashing costs - was to blame for the poor report card, the Treasurer said the government's actions were "responsible and prudent".

Mr Nicholls said the policies "firewalled" the state as economic storms raged overseas.

"If we hadn't taken the steps we had taken both on expenditure side and on the revenue side, we would find ourselves in a much worse position as world conditions have deteriorated."

The Treasurer said any sale of government assets would only occur after a mandate from voters.

He said so far, such options had not been discussed by the government.

 

KEY FACTS

  • Qld Govt surplus to hit $535m in 2014/15.
  • State growth to fall from 3.75% this financial year to 3.5% in 2013/14.
  • Govt continuing plan to make $7.8b in savings.
  • Treasurer refuses to rule out further job cuts if conditions worsen.
  • Asset sales, if needed, would have to be decided by voters.

Topics:  budget, labor, lnp, public service, queensland government, tim nicholls, unemployment




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Developers blamed as creek becomes puddle

STAGNANT WATERS: Land owners Joe Llewellyn and John Scott stand in the middle of Bundamba Creek.

Water taken from creek to use on residential development

Teen grinds finger in work accident

Queensland Ambulance Service on scene of an accident.  Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

Teenager rushed to hospital after losing part of finger

Warrego cleared following earlier crash

A motorist was lucky to escape serious injury following a crash on the Warrego Highway this morning.

Crashed four-wheel-drive and caravan cleared from highway

Latest deals and offers

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances