The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, faces his first test of economic leadership after it was reported that the Government’s job numbers on the China Free Trade Agreement we wrong.
Over recent weeks, Trade Minister Andrew Robb, along with other senior Government ministers, had claimed that the China Free Trade Agreement would create 178,000 jobs over 20 years.
Instead, Fairfax Media reports that the number is actually 5434 jobs, from Government modeling done by the Centre for International Economics.
Indeed so off is the Government’s job forecast that this number is not only for the China Free Trade Agreement but also for the Japan and Korean Agreements as well.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) NSW Secretary, Tim Ayres, called on the Prime Minister to come clean with the numbers.
“Malcolm Turnbull knocked off a first term Prime Minister promising a more honest economic discussion. Well it’s time to put your money where your mouth is” said Mr Ayres.
“He needs to tell the workers of Australia that the Government’s own modelling shows that the China Free Trade Agreement will barely create a dent in the unemployment that blue collar workers now face” he said.
Compounding the poor jobs predictions, the provisions of the China Free Trade Agreement will allow Chinese companies to import foreign workers on Australian projects with no requirement for labour market testing.
“All Australians want an honest economic discussion and an end to the spin. That’s why the new PM needs to provide the facts.
“The fact is, that under this agreement, Australian workers lose” he said.
“If Malcolm Turnbull can’t come clean with Australians on these numbers, then he will be exposed as a fraud”
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