This week National Accounts are a worrying sign that the economy is beginning to suffer. Labor Shadow Treasurer Chirs Bowen has said that the worrying signs are because “Australia has a lame duck Treasurer.”
The data for the June quarter figure of 0.2 per cent is disappointing on the back of soft dwelling and other business investment, a poor export performance, weakened household consumption growth, and an unusually high contribution from the government sector.
Annual GDP growth – now at 2 per cent – has been trending down for the last five quarters while living standards have fallen over the last five quarters.
Australians are suffering through the highest unemployment level in 13 years. Growth has flat-lined since the Abbott Government’s first damaging Budget last year and cost of living pressures are continuing to increase. This is the biggest quarterly decline in living standards since the Global Financial Crisis.
The Australian economy needs the stewardship of a Government that is prepared to tell it like it is, highlighting both the challenges and the opportunities and setting out a credible economic plan for the future.
All Treasurer Hockey has offered is hot air, exaggerating the risks and then over-egging mediocre economic data, while offering no positive reform agenda.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has highlighted that Joe Hockey is a Treasurer in name only – and the consequences of this paralysis for Australia are alarming.
This weeks National Accounts data show that this is a Treasurer who is going from quarter to quarter, week to week, and now, day to day.
“Scare campaigns and cheap talk about the economy will not deliver jobs or economic growth.” Said Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen.
Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have an appalling economic record, underlined by today’s National Accounts, the rest of which includes:
- Unemployment has increased from 5.7 to 6.3 per cent to now be at 13-year highs;
- For the first time in over 20 years, more than 800,000 Australians are out of work;
- The Australian economy is stuck at below-trend growth of 2 per cent, with annual growth trending down since Hockey’s damaging first budget last year;
- Consumer sentiment is 11 per cent below where it was at the election;
- New taxes and charges mean Australians are paying more tax than any time since the Howard Government, and rising each and every Budget year;
- The Budget deficit doubled in just the last 12 months.
Australians have seen that the Abbott Government has no economic reform agenda, no plan to deal with emerging challenges with technology or engaging with our region, or reforming our tax system, making the economy more competitive, or ensuring Australians are ready for the jobs of the future.