“Half A Million Jobs” – Wayne’s Big Lie (Reprise)

In the classic British political satire Yes Minister, master of obfuscation and manipulation Sir Humphrey Appleby said that it is always best to “dispose of the difficult bit in the title; it does less harm there than in the text.”

Sadly for Labor, they’ve not disposed of it in the title. They’ve left the evidence in the text.

Wayne Swan’s latest mantra is that Budget 2011-12 is all about “jobs, jobs, jobs“. Last week, Wayne was claiming that Labor has “created 750,000 jobs” since coming to office. In “Behold, Wayne’s Große Lüge“, we showed evidence that this is a Big Lie.

In the (fine print) text of last night’s Budget 2011, we find evidence that Wayne’s big claim of “half a million more” jobs “in the next two years” is also a Big Lie:

Economic parameter variations are forecast to reduce expenses in 2011‑12 and over the forward estimates … Partly offsetting these reductions … an upwards revision in the estimated number of unemployment benefit recipients is expected to increase expenses in 2011‑12 compared to MYEFO, although this is partly unwound by a reduction in the forecast of the number of unemployment benefit recipients in 2012‑13.

The government’s own Budget “estimates” an increase of more than half a BILLION dollars ($530 million) in unemployment benefit expenses for this year and next:

Budget 2011-12 | Budget Paper No. 1, Statement 6, Table 2

So, since the MYEFO just 6 months ago, Labor has revised its “estimates” and is now budgeting for a $530 million increase in unemployment benefit expenses – $479 million of that in the next 12 months. This equals approximately 43,000 more unemployed people next year (at current full single rate unemployment benefit).

Yet, we are expected to believe that they will “create half a million more” jobs “in the next two years”?!?

Lindsay Tanner was right:

“The lesson is simple: whenever a politician cites spending figures to show what a fine job he or she is doing, examine the fine print very carefully.”

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