Workers relying on a robust Australian job’s market have been let down following a policy-light and blame-heavy announcement at today’s Midyear Economic and Fiscal Outlook announcement by Treasurer Joe Hockey.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said, “Mr Hockey chose to focus on blame shifting and cuts to jobs and services without a plan to address rising unemployment.”

“Listening to Mr Hockey you would think that rising unemployment wasn’t a major problem and he offered no solutions other than further job cuts.”

“Rising unemployment is especially bad news for workers, but also detrimental for business and for the economy.

“As growth softens what people need is a Government with a plan to address job creation and strengthen the economy. We certainly did not get that today.”

“The Government’s intention to savagely cut public sector jobs, savagely cut into vital government services, their cuts to trade training centres, the abolition of the clean energy finance corporation, all of this will unacceptably lift our unemployment figures.”

“Public sector cuts will be particularly painful for regional Australians who rely on these jobs and services.”

Ms Kearney said at least one public sector job had been lost for every hour the Government has held office.

“With unemployment rising and growth slowing now is not the time for cuts,” she said.

Ms Kearney added that the Government was behaving like in opposition, governing in a policy void and relying on the blame game.

“Today’s document shows that $10.2bn of the $17bn increase in the deficit this year was due to decisions taken by this government. It’s time they took responsibility,” she said.

“The Coalition does not have the luxury to hide behind finger pointing as they did in opposition. Workers should feel confident that there is a strategy to save jobs, protect industries and create a strong economy.  None of that came through today.”