Posted September 28, 2018 03:50:25Australian Labor Party leadership hopeful Andrew Nikolic has come under fire from a group of conservative MPs and activists over the last week for his position on job hunting.
Key points:Labor’s Andrew Nikolics has come up against criticism for the way he has dealt with the jobs crisisThe group are calling for a rethink on the job marketLabor MPs and supporters say the leader should step down after the electionA report by a senior research firm has called for Mr Nikolic to step down over his role in the jobs market, after the leader and his team came under fire for failing to properly explain what job seekers would get when they applied for work in the economy.
A report commissioned by the Parliamentary Budget Office found the Labor Party should “step aside” and “face the consequences” of its failure to properly manage the labour market and its record on job seekers.
The report, by the Canberra-based Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPAA), also called for Labor to set out its “plan for the future” in relation to job seekers, saying “job seekers should have the opportunity to work, find jobs and secure a decent standard of living”.
“The future of the Australian economy is at stake if the Government does not take action to ensure jobs are created and that people with skills and skills can contribute to the economy in a meaningful way,” it said.
The CPAA report found that, “given the current economic circumstances, the Government needs to plan and implement a series of measures to help stimulate the Australian job market”.
“Given the severity of the unemployment crisis, it is imperative that the Government implements a series to support job seekers,” it added.
“In addition, the President of the Treasury, Scott Morrison, has indicated he is prepared to commit $400 million to the Labor Government’s jobs plan, to help the economy and to support the jobs of the future.”
The CPFA report also called on Mr Nikolics to “set the record straight” on his position as leader and the role of the Government in managing the economy, saying it is “unlikely that Labor will act to provide a better alternative to the government”.
It said Mr Nikols actions as leader “have led to a loss of support for the Party” from its “broad base” and that the party should be “re-elected”.
“Labor should consider the recommendations in the CPAA’s report,” the report said.
“The ALP should now consider its position on the future of job seekers.”
Mr Nikols leadership has come into question after his team announced on Monday they had identified 1.6 million unemployed people and would be cutting a $5.2 million cut to the employment services budget, to $5 million.
The $5 billion cut was announced at the launch of the party’s first-ever economic policy in the wake of the government’s announcement last week of cuts to welfare payments.
The party said it would “continue to do everything we can to meet our commitments to people who need help and who want to work”.
Mr Nikolics spokesman, Mark Jones, said the party was “confident that our Government will deliver the jobs and growth that we promised to the Australian people”.
“In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a detailed economic plan that will provide clarity on the Government’s plan to help those who need it most,” he said.
“The job-seekers of today deserve better.”
The government has since announced $2 billion in cuts to the welfare budget.
In response to the CPAC report, Labor has released a statement saying the cuts were a “fair and proportionate response” to the crisis in the Australian labour market.
“While there has been a great deal of discussion around the cost of the cuts, Labor will now work with the Opposition to find a way forward, and we will work with those in government to ensure the jobs we are talking about will be created,” it read.
“We will ensure that we have a plan to boost the economy to the benefit of everyone, not just those in the lowest paid jobs.”