The rejection this afternoon by the Senate of the Federal Government’s $42 billion economic stimulus package will jeopardise Australian jobs and damage confidence, say unions.
“X marks the spot where Australian jobs were put at risk,” said ACTU President Sharan Burrow.
Ms Burrow said the decision by independent Senator Nick Xenophon to side with the Coalition in blocking the package increased the risk of a prolonged economic downturn that will have a negative impact on the lives of working Australians.
“It is unacceptable for working Australians that this timely and pre-emptive package of measures has been blocked at the last hurdle.
“The package would provide an immediate boost to demand and business confidence, and funds for infrastructure projects for the recovery from the downturn.
“Senator Xenophon has failed to appreciate the urgency of the economic crisis confronting Australia.
“Let’s be clear, however: the Coalition has also failed to put the national interest first in voting against the package.”