Unemployment is not a political football
Letter submitted to the Fraser Coast Chronicle:
I was disappointed to read in yesterday’s Fraser Coast Chronicle that the State Labor Member for Maryborough is blaming the Federal Government yet again.
It seems every time a journalist asks him to comment on an issue, he points the finger at someone else.
Unemployment is too important an issue to be used as a political football – it’s a whole of community problem that deserves a team effort!
I recognise there are several challenges to gaining employment in the Hinkler region, including a lack of job vacancies and a high number of applicants.
That’s why we’ve introduced a range of measures to help job seekers stand out in what is a highly competitive market.
Through Work for the Dole, the National Work Experience Program and Green Army, job seekers are learning important skills while contributing to their communities.
The 2015 Budget includes $330 million for a Youth Employment Strategy to help young people transition from school to work.
Young job seekers who find a job and stay off welfare for 12 months will receive a job commitment bonus of $2500, and a further $4000 at 24 months.
We’re providing concessional trade support loans of up to $20,000 and spending $200 million each year to lift apprenticeship completion rates.
We’re also providing up to $9000 to help people relocate to take up a job.
Giving job seekers a hand up is just one piece of the puzzle.
We’re also giving businesses the confidence they need to expand because, ultimately, it is businesses that create jobs – not governments.
Businesses who employ young or mature age job seekers can access wage subsidies of up to $10,000.
We’ve reduced the company tax rate to its lowest level in 50 years and are allowing small businesses to claim an immediate tax deduction for each asset they purchase up to $20,000.
We all have a role to play in creating jobs for current and future generations. There are two simple things Hinkler residents can do to boost our economy: shop locally and tell everyone how great our region is!
I will continue to work with my Federal, State and Council colleagues to attract public and private investment to our region!
I only hope the State Labor Member for Maryborough will see sense and do the same!
Keith Pitt MP
Federal Member for Hinkler