Hon Angus Taylor MP

Shadow Treasurer

Member for Hume

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


19 JANUARY 2023


Today’s Labour force figures, showing the loss of 15,000 jobs across the country in December, provide a warning to the Albanese Government that the high number of Australians in work cannot be taken for granted.

While the unemployment rate of 3.5% remained steady market expectations were for about 20,000 jobs to be created.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said while the jobs numbers have remained relatively stable, pressure was on the way.

“For people who are in jobs, it’s getting harder and harder for them to make ends meet,” Mr Taylor said.

“Australians are in for a tough year paying more on their mortgages, more on groceries and a whole lot more on their power bills following the government’s disastrous gas policy which they rushed through the Parliament late last year.

“The government is continuing to get the big economic calls wrong. Labor clearly has no plan to deal with inflation and cost of living pressures which are very real and painful for so many.”

Senator Cash said: “It is always worrying when jobs are lost anywhere in the economy but what is even more concerning is that this warning sign comes before Labor’s new radical industrial relations laws have taken effect.”

“Major employers across multiple industries have warned those laws could lead to job losses in the economy,’’ she said.

“We have said all along that the big test for Labor is to maintain Australia’s high level of employment which was the result of policies put in place by the former Coalition Government which grew the economy and helped job creation,’’ Senator Cash said.

Senator Cash said business groups were also worried about Labor’s expected attack this year on flexible labour hire arrangements, warning the foreshadowed changes were likely to cost jobs.

“We’ve also seen multiple unions demand the right to charge bargaining fees to non-union workers which creates further uncertainty in the economy and for businesses,’’ she said.

“The Albanese Government should immediately rule out bargaining fees, a concept that trashes Australians rights to freedom of association,’’ Senator Cash said.

“All Australians have the right not to join a union and that should not be taken away from them,’’ she said.

“Along with their radical IR laws, these types of uncertainties like labour hire changes and bargaining fees when can expect more strike action, fewer jobs and no increase in wages,’’ Senator Cash said.