Bill's Media Releases

Media Release: Abbott a Hypocrite on Jobs and the Economy

The Opposition’s campaign of negativity and trash-talking the Australian economy has reached a new low today, with Tony Abbott exposed for his hypocritical stance on Australian jobs.

Today Tony Abbott claimed he cares about Australian jobs despite yesterday confirming he’s ripping $500 million out of the car industry, against the advice of senior Liberals including Nick Minchin, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, Ian Macfarlane and Iain Evans (Shadow South Australian Treasurer).

Make no mistake – Tony Abbott’s refusal to support the car manufacturing industry will cost full-time, well-paid Australian jobs.

With unemployment at 10.3 in the Eurozone and 8.5 in the USA, today’s Australian labour force figures show an unemployment rate remains among the lowest in the world, but also show the impact of the European crisis slowing jobs growth.

We know that 2012 will be difficult globally and in Australia. Therefore, now is the time for political leaders to talk responsibly about the economy and support confidence.

46,000 car jobs shouldn’t be a political football for the Opposition.

When the GFC hit with full force, Tony Abbott voted against the measures that kept Australia out of recession and have given us an unemployment rate half the level of Europe.

Today, we saw Tony Abbott ramping up his efforts to talk down the Australian economy and our outstanding fiscal position, despite his own Treasury Spokesman Joe Hockey announcing a $70 billion crater in the Liberals’ budget on live television.

His scare campaign on debt needs to be called for what it is – a complete falsehood and a deliberate campaign to talk down our economy.  The reality is Australia’s net debt will peak at 8.9 per cent in 2011-12 – less than one tenth of the average net debt position of the major advanced economies expected in 2016 (table below).

Tony Abbott will denigrate the economy at home, but then boast about how well the Australia economy is doing while overseas, as he did in London:

…. Our net government debt, Commonwealth and state, about 8 per cent of GDP; our collective budget deficits just under four per cent of GDP and net interest payments just under 2 per cent of government outlays.

On the face of this comparative performance, Australia has serious bragging rights. Compared to most developed countries, our economic circumstances are enviable. 

And just recently Australia was awarded the coveted gold-plated AAA rating from all three global ratings agencies – something never achieved by a Liberal Government.

Tony Abbott should spend more time coming up with some positive economic policy and less time talking down our economy, undermining confidence and threatening Australian jobs.

Background on net debt and unemployment figures

Australia’s net debt will peak at 8.9% of GDP in 2011-12 – less than one-tenth of the average net debt position for major advanced economies expected in 2016.

Expected net debt as a % of GDP in 2016 (source: IMF Fiscal Monitor, September 2011).

  • Net Debt - Major advanced economies – 92.9%

    • US – 88.7%

    • UK – 72.5%

    • Japan – 166.9%

    • France – 81.9%

    • Germany – 55.3%

    • Italy – 94.8%

    • Canada – 33.3%

    • Iceland – 53.4%

    • Ireland – 100.3%

Unemployment rate by country:

Country Unemployment Rate1

(% labour force)





Euro area 2