Both sides of federal government are blaming the other as Australia’s jobless rate reaches a 12-year high. Figures described by Treasurer Joe Hockey as “disappointing,” show Australia’s unemployment exceeding even that of the United States, on a per capita basis.

But Mr Hockey accused Labour and the Greens of contributing to the problem through their opposition to his tough budget, announced in May. Many Australians are being denied employment … “because of the recalcitrance of Mr Shorten and the Greens in the Senate not allowing the economic reforms to be progressed that would have guaranteed their jobs or, indeed, grown job opportunities.”

Building on his attack, the Treasurer underscored the importance of his Work of r the Dole and Earn or Learn policies. The Abbott Government has an Economic Action Strategy to deliver stronger jobs growth right across the country,” he told reporters. “We have already abolished the Carbon Tax, and are working with a diverse senate to abolish the Mining Tax, cut red tape and end government waste.”

He finished his barely concealed attack on the opposition by adding, “The budget includes measures that will improve business investment and also create incentives for people to get back into the workforce.”

The Opposition disagree, seeing the budget as the problem rather than the solution.

Chris Bowen. Photo: theaustralian.com.au

Chris Bowen. Photo: theaustralian.com.au

Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen said on ABC radio, “We saw unemployment, and consumer confidence in particular, start to take a hit with the Treasurer’s ill-judged and shrill rhetoric in the lead-up to the budget. And it only got worse when that was turned into reality.”

Unemployment was forecast to hit 6.25 per cent. Instead, the figures released this week show unemployment at 6.4 per cent. Mr Bowen added, “There’s no jobs plan in this budget and in fact this budget undermines … key investments in innovation, research, and science, which are going to be creating the jobs of the future.”

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