The federal government has rejected claims by the opposition that it is doing a “con job” on Australians by promising to create one million jobs.
During last year’s election campaign, the coalition set a target of creating a million jobs over five years and two million over a decade.
But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says figures released on Thursday showed it will fall 200,000 jobs short of the five-year promise.
The Parliamentary Library had used the government’s own employment forecasts and Australian Bureau of Statistics data to extrapolate the figures, he said.
“The government’s own figures released in their mini-budget before Christmas show that they will fall well short of that target,” Mr Bowen told reporters in Fairfield on Thursday.
“They will not create a million jobs over the next five years.”
— Chris Bowen (@Bowenchris) January 1, 2014
The data showed Mr Abbott’s pledge was a “hollow one”.
“It was a con job on the Australian people,” Mr Bowen said.
But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the government was already working towards achieving its goal of creating one million jobs by working on scrapping the carbon and mining taxes, and reducing red tape costs for businesses.
He said the Labor party was “dishonestly” using an analysis of its last budget to predict the future performance of the coalition.
“The economy we inherited was an economy growing below trend, with unemployment rising and with the budget in a mess,” he said.
“We are working to turn that situation around.”
Chris Bowen misleading people. MYEFO update of Labor’s last Budget. We’ll deliver on our commitments. Our first budget next instalment.
— Mathias Cormann (@MathiasCormann) January 2, 2014
Senator Cormann said there were always external factors to consider such as the Australian dollar, but the government was “sticking” to its election commitment, and accused Labor of trying to stand in the way of that promise.
Mr Bowen said blaming the previous Labor government was not a good excuse.