FEDERAL Trade Minister Craig Emerson has told Ipswich business leaders that Labor saved tens of thousands of jobs across Queensland after the global financial crisis struck.
Dr Emerson, who represents Logan, spoke at Brothers Leagues Club yesterday at a "budget breakfast" hosted by his parliamentary colleague Shayne Neumann, MP for Blair.
Dr Emerson (pictured) said the governments led by Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard had implemented a stimulus program that had saved the jobs of 200,000 workers across Australia.
But he said now was the right time for Treasurer Wayne Swan to rein in public spending.
Mr Swan announced significant cut-backs in the federal budget earlier this month.
"We knew that as the economy recovered it was time to gradually reduce the deficit and move into surplus. That's what we have done," Dr Emerson said.
"We will be back in surplus for the next four budget cycles."
He also took a swipe at Liberal leader Tony Abbott, whom he said was trying to create a sense of "political crisis" in Canberra and the nation at large.