Jobs rate fine with Premier
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has insisted Labor’s first Budget delivers on her jobs mantra because the state’s unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged for at least the next two years.
Treasury has predicted unemployment to stay at 6.5 per cent. “I am pleased it’s definitely not getting worse,’’ Ms Palaszczuk said. “But I want to see it get better.”
The Premier and Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday began selling the Budget, branded “Jobs Now, Jobs for the Future”.
Along with Education Minister Kate Jones, the pair visited a school to highlight the new $ 300 maintenance fund.
Mr Pitt said the improvement to the employment participation rate was important.
“We know that we will have a lot more people participating in our economy and that is going to be good news right across the state,” he said.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said Labor’s Budget lacked action on infrastructure and, without a clear plan moving forward, would hurt jobs and the economy.
“I think the stark contrast in this Budget is that there is no new major infrastructure development or program which wasn’t already put in place or planned by the LNP, or even carried forward from the previous government,” he said.
Mr Pitt was also forced to defend the plan to direct public servant superannuation into state- owned energy, port and water businesses, insisting it did not constitute an asset sale.
“This is in no way, shape or form an asset sale,’’ he said. “It is about government investing in government,” he said.
The Government is already taking a five- year holiday from investing in the fund to save $ 2 billion, arguing its assets now exceed its liabilities by about $ 10 billion.