Tony Abbott is making big job creation promises.
Tony Abbott is making big job creation promises. PAUL MILLER

Coalition promises one million new jobs...how?

INTERSPERSED with the near-blanket news coverage of the long weekend's weather events you may have noticed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott popping up in the commercial breaks.

The coalition launched its election year advertising with the ad spot, making plenty of large scale promises, and referring back to the party's recently released mini policy document, Our Plan: Real Solutions for All Australians.

It's the election campaign that isn't really an election campaign. It's an entree.

The 50-page publication is loaded with plenty of aspirational rhetoric, but lacking on actual policy and implementation plans.

A Coalition government promises to deliver one million new jobs in the next five years and two million over the next decade, according to the publication.

"We will generate one million new jobs over the next five years and two million new jobs over the next decade as we unleash Australia's real economic potential, modernise our businesses and industries as well as transform to a stronger and more prosperous economy," the report reads.

"We will deliver higher real wages and higher living standards by providing real opportunities for productivity growth as we transform and grow the economy and encourage higher pay for better work.

"We will encourage unemployed young people to get back into the workforce - particularly in those areas where unskilled jobs are readily available."

The only thing missing among all the "wills" was a "how".

To put the one million over five years into perspective, the latest MyCareer employment figures show 58,000 jobs added in the year to August 2012. Historically, that's a low figure, but regardless, it's a long way from the 200,000 per year the coalition has promised.

This year is, after all, an election year, so expect to see plenty more of the same once the electioneering officially gets under way.

Promises with big numbers will always fare well with the voting public - but if the policy that underpins those promises isn't readily available, what's the point?

I know it's early in the piece, and without doubt more details will come out, from all sides of politics, around job creation plans should their party take office. It would be nice, just the same, to see some concrete plans from the outset.


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