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SA’s dangerous jobs crisis on Weatherill’s watch

In the wake of yesterday’s disastrous increase in South Australia’s unemployment rate, the State Liberals are demanding that new Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis details how he’s going to deal with the state’s deepening job crisis.

“The Weatherill Government was elected promising jobs would be its number one focus but has lost 9,000 jobs in the month of March alone,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Yesterday, South Australia’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 per cent, its highest rate in 12 years and 1.3 per cent higher than the national average.

“Since Labor’s promise in 2010 to create 100,000 new jobs South Australia has actually lost 4,700 jobs, whilst unemployment under the Weatherill Government has increased by a staggering 37 per cent.

“Today I’m calling on the individual with the greatest economic responsibility within the Weatherill Government, new Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis, to explain how he is going to fix this appalling mess his Government has created.

“Does the Treasurer understand his Government’s high business tax burden is crippling South Australia’s economy and driving up the unemployment rate?

“What is the new Treasurer planning to do to reduce the job-destroying taxes his Government levies on South Australian businesses?

“To date, the new Treasurer has indicated his strategy is to beg for more money from Canberra and hope the changes to WorkCover will ease costs faced by South Australian businesses.

“If the Weatherill Labor Government claims it can save $180 million per year worth of premiums, this means South Australian businesses have unnecessarily paid $2.2 billion worth of premiums over the past 12 years.

“Labor has promised to reduce WorkCover costs for most of the 12 years it has been in office and negotiations with Canberra have been complicated by the Weatherill Government’s repeated attacks on the Federal Government.

“The rest of mainland Australia has a lower rate of unemployment and is enjoying jobs growth despite receiving far less per capita support from Canberra – South Australia’s future is in our own hands.”