Nicholls job cuts to blame for drop in consumer confidence, not media

Posted August 10, 2012 by Alex Scott

Queensland’s Treasurer is wrong to blame the media for a drop in consumer confidence given senior government advisor and Commission of Audit author Dr Doug McTaggart squarely identified reduced job security as contributing to reduced confidence under oath in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Together Secretary Alex Scott said today.

Dr McTaggart, is a highly respected economist and former head of the Queensland Investment Corporation.

He was answering questions about an interview he had done with Boom Magazine where he nominated a fall in consumer confidence as the greatest risk to the economy.

“The government is wrong to blame the media for what is a problem of their own creation,” Mr Scott said.

“Putting thousands of workers onto the unemployment lines is bound to dent consumer confidence.

“We’re aware of reports of public servants being knocked back for car loans because their employment is deemed too risky.

“The public service does not operate in isolation to the rest of the economy, it is an important part of Queensland’s strength.

“Mr Nicholls should be careful not play the blame game and should refrain from attacking the media for reporting the truth about the government’s confidence sapping, growth destroying policies.

“The Treasurer has to face up to his actions in wrecking consumer confidence, rather than blaming the media,” Mr Scott said.

Extract from Dr McTaggart’s QIRC testimony.

(The question was about an interview Dr McTaggart had done for the Boom magazine)

MR McKAY: Could I just take you to the second question where the question is, What is the greatest risks facing Australia this year?‑‑ Yep.

Do you still hold that the greatest risk is a fall in consumer confidence?‑‑ Yes.

And anything that would curtail retail spending?‑‑ Yes. And, certainly, talking about a global risk there but it's true in Australia as well.

From your economic expertise, what effect would reduced job security have on consumer confidence?‑‑ I expect that to reduce it.

So it would contribute to one of the greatest risks, in your view‑‑‑‑‑?‑‑ Indeed.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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