Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today one major factor in South Australia having the worst unemployment rate in the nation had been a “litany of disasters” in Weatherill Government job programs.
“The sad reality for unemployed South Australians is the Weatherill Government seems more intent on political spin and the publicity value of announcing new programs rather than ensuring job programs actually work and create jobs”, said Mr Lucas.
Evidence to recent meetings of the Budget and Finance Committee shows:
$4 million for loans to small business program as part of the deal with Mr Brock had failed with not a single loan to a business
$50 million Unlocking Capital for Jobs program had failed with only one application and one guarantee to a single firm after 18 months
Investment Attraction Agency will spend $13.6 million on 40 staff to give $15 million in grants to businesses – half the funding has already been allocated to two businesses
4 months after the $10 million Small Business Development Fund was announced in the Northern Economic Plan no grants had been made and applications won’t actually open until July
4 months after the $7 million for the Food Park was announced in the Northern Economic Plan no funding had been provided and guidelines had still not been finalized
“It is clear that after 14 years the policies of the Weatherill Labor Government have not worked as South Australia’s unemployment rate remains the worst in the nation. The Government’s approach seems to rely on coming up with a catchy name for a new program and a lump of money without actually worrying too much about whether it will work and create jobs.
“Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis launch these new programs in a blaze of publicity but conveniently disappear when the hard questions are asked about the effectiveness of the programs.
“It is time for a new approach based on reducing the costs of doing business in South Australia. In particular small businesses in South Australia cannot afford to be paying increased payroll tax after 1 July as promised by the Weatherill Government.”