by Alan Thornhill
The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the G20 is “….on track to deliver practical actions to lift growth and create jobs.”
He made the comment overnight, in a speech to the Centre for International Strategic Studies in Washington.
He recalled that, in February, Finance Ministers and Governors agreed to the G20’s Sydney Declaration, which sets out to lift collective GDP by more than 2 per cent over the next five years, through new structural reforms driven by individual governments.
“This was a first for the G20,”Mr Hockey said.
“There had always been words to reflect ambition but never numbers, let alone a target,” he added.
Mr Hockey, once again, set out the objectives the G20, under Australia’s one year presidency of the organisation.
“Firstly, we needed to deliver policies that lift growth and create jobs,” he said.
“Secondly, we wanted a more robust and trustworthy financial system that supports that growth objective.
“Finally, we wanted to deliver on the commitments made at St Petersburg, to a fair and effective international tax framework that rebuilds community trust in the global taxation system.”
Mr Hockey said there had been achievements in all three areas.
He was speaking ahead of the G20 Leaders’ meeting, that is to be held in Brisbane later this year.
by Alan Thornhill
The September unemployment figures – due out Thursday – will contain some surprises.
That’s because the Bureau of Statistics is revising its seasonal adjustment process.
In a statement today, the Bureau said it had found that the seasonal pattern previously evident for the July, August and September labour force estimates had not been apparent this year.
The Bureau has reported that Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 per cent in July and 6.1 per cent in August.
It now says is little evidence of seasonality in July, August and September this year.
That will be reflected in the fresh figures due out tomorrow.
“It is critical that the ABS produces the best set of estimates that it can,” acting Australian Statistician Jonathan Palmer said.
He said the Bureau would commission a review with independent external input to develop an appropriate method for seasonally adjusting October 2014 and following months’ estimates.
“The report on the results of this review will be presented in due course,” Mr Palmer said.
“The ABS has not made this decision lightly and believes this approach will result in a more meaningful set of seasonally adjusted estimates,” he added.
Mr Palmer said the Bureau would continue to produce trend estimates.
“And, as always, encourages users to use the trend estimates to help understand underlying movements in the labour force series.” he added.
by Alan Thornhill
Labor and the Greens have welcomed the government’s “back down” from a requirement that the unemployed must make 40 job applications a month or lose their benefits.
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, told reporters in Canberra today that the change – to 20 applications a month – had followed “consultations with the community.”
“The only fair dinkum consultations are consultations that can and do result in some refinements,” Mr Abbott declared.
His opponents were less generous.
“This back down came because the Government has caved into pressure from Labor, the business community and the general public,” Labor’s employment spokesman, Brendan O’Connor, said.
“It seems everyone but the Government knew it would not help job seekers find work and would entangle business in red tape.”
The Greens were equally dismissive.
Rachel Siewert, the Greens spokesperson on family and community services said: ““The Government’s approach is rooted in their ideological commitment to punishing people and their belief that there is work available if people try hard enough to find it.
“This ignores the facts.
“They remain committed to forcing job seekers under 30 to live for six months a year without income support and to a wide range of other, tough cuts to income support that will make it harder for people to find and retain secure work,” she said.
Weathercoast by Alan Thornhill
A novel on the murder of seven young Anglican Christian Brothers in the Solomon Islands.
Available now on the iTunes store.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
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