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October 14, 2015

It turns out Malcolm Turnbull’s new Minister for Employment is creating imaginary jobs.

The Minister has been caught red-handed lying about the number of jobs to be created by the North Asian Free Trade Agreements.

Yesterday in her very first Question Time as Minister for Employment, Senator Cash said,

“In terms of the job creation potential that those free trade agreements give us, we are looking at almost 9,000 jobs per year, and we can create up to 178,000 jobs by the time those agreements come into full force in 2035.”

Senator Cash – Question Time – 12 October 2015

The difficulty is the figure had been totally discredited by an independent economist a month ago – so discredited that Government members including the Trade Minister have stopped saying it.

In Senate Question Time today Labor Senator Deb O’Neill pinged the Employment Minister on the figure and asked Senator Cash if she stood by her false statement that 178,000 jobs would be created by the trade agreements.

In response, Senator Cash emphatically said:

“Yes I do and, certainly, that is what I was advised.”

Senator Cash – Question Time – 13 October 2015

It’s too bad for the Employment Minister that she was totally wrong.

Having finally realised the error, after Question Time had concluded Senator Cash sought to correct her statements. The problem is she couldn’t even get that right.

“I also would like to correct a statement that I made in answer to a question yesterday. I advised the Senate that yesterday I did quote a figure relating to jobs growth arising from free trade agreements. In citing this figure, I was quoting a secondary source which had incorrectly added annual job creation figures to reach an overall cumulative figure. I have since been advised that the methodology was inaccurate.”

Senator Cash – after Question Time – 13 October 2015

Unfortunately for the Minister, she didn’t just get the number wrong in an answer “yesterday” she also stood by that very number today yet there is no correction for today’s mistake offered.

For the record, the Minister is only short by 172,560 jobs.

Let’s hope that the Minister is better at creating jobs for Australians than she is at doing hers.