Answers to some of the gloom

By Phil Drew

As OurALP members we need to both to urge reform in structures and policies AND to support the Party in government.

Ross Gittins in his article in Monday 4 July: This very lucky country enjoys a good whinge should give us some useful ammunition for barbecue stoppers like “can’t keep up with prices”, “unemployment is going up”. You can read it all at: http://www.smh.com.au/business/this-very-lucky-country-enjoys-a-good-whinge-20110703-1gx7i.html#ixzz1R5fmba45.

But here are some good points from Ross to refute those lines.

    • While employment growth is slowing, we still have 260,000 more jobs than we did a year ago, most of them full-time. And unemployment remains at 4.9 per cent. The figures show growth is fairly well spread between the states, not just concentrated in the resource states.

    • Between the growth in employment and quite strong growth in wage rates, household disposable income rose by 8.3 per cent over the year to March. Over that period, the consumer price index rose by 3.3 per cent and the cost of living index for employees rose by 4.9 per cent. Does that sound like a squeeze on living standards to you? …

    • The repeated claims we hear about how much difficulty people are having coping with the cost of living hardly fit with the ever-rising rate of household saving, which now exceeds 10 per cent of household disposable income.

In short:

Job growth last 12 months

260,000 most full time

Unemployment rate

4.9%; USA 9%; UK 7.8%

Household disposable income

Up 8.3% to March

CPI

Up 3.3%

Household saving ratio

Over 10%

We should be getting ready to respond on the carbon tax when the details are clear.

We might also start any discussion with a description of the current state of the House of Reps. Neither major party can govern in their own right therefore many issues are up for legislation that would not have been had either a majority. Both the ALP and the Coalition negotiated with the independent and the green MHRs.

Did Abbott offer Wilkie any hope on poker machines? We do know that Wilkie knocked Abbott back despite an offer of $1bn for a Tasmanian hospital because it ignored due procedure.

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