Abbott leaves Victorian autoworkers hanging: Bandt

Greens Deputy Leader and Industry spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, today said that Victorian autoworkers are victims of Tony Abbott’s empty rhetoric and that the failure to plan for Victoria’s economic future was unforgiveable.

“For anyone who still has any doubts, it’s now crystal clear that Tony Abbott has no plan for jobs and no plan for Australian manufacturing,” said Mr Bandt.

“Tony Abbott must deliver on the assistance package for auto workers that he promised in December, said would be delivered in March but has failed to produce.

“For thousands of workers and their families, this funding could be a lifeline to a better future so it’s devastating that Tony Abbott has given them this false assurance.

“Tony Abbott’s Government is spruiking the Commission of Audit report and its recipe for harsh cuts but the report on the future of the Victorian economy is nowhere to be seen.

“Tony Abbott blundered half-heartedly into this issue, made an unconvincing announcement to get critics off his back, then just walked away. Meanwhile, thousands of auto workers are left hanging, their lives on hold. That’s simply not how a Prime Minister should behave,” said Mr Bandt.

“The failure to deliver on this assistance package adds insult to injury after Tony Abbott memorably blamed auto workers for the demise of Toyota, something Toyota itself denied.

“We keep hearing from Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey how everyone must make budget sacrifices but that doesn’t seem to include big mining and Gina Rinehart and friends, who the Government continues to subsidise with billions of taxpayer dollars,” said Mr Bandt.

In February, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister reportedly quoted the Prime Minister as telling the Coalition party room meeting that workers and unions had not given themselves “a fair chance of survival”.

Toyota subsequently reportedly said that its decision was “not based on any single factor’’, although it did cite high manufacturing costs, the high dollar and low economies of scale.

Tony Abbott previously said in December that “No government has ever subsidised its way to prosperity” – yet somehow the millions of taxpayer dollars that the Government continues to subsidise big mining with go untouched.

 

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