/ 26 September 2023

White paper watch

jim chalmers, budget, 2023
Treasurer Jim Chalmers at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

If you clocked yesterday that Treasurer Jim Chalmers released a White Paper on employment and thought, “That’s nice, but what’s a White Paper?” we’ve got you… When it comes to tackling the big issues, ministers can use it as ‘a statement of policy intent’ ahead of new legislation and funding to see how it goes down. So that’s where Chalmers is coming from with a discussion point about redefining ‘full employment’ and better deploying underutilised workers. It’s heady stuff, but there are 2.8 million people who are unemployed or underemployed – and that’s with the current low unemployment rate of 3.7%… More opportunities for pensioners and welfare recipients to work were also flagged (note Coalition leader Dutton suggested it but doesn’t think Chalmers is going far enough). Also on the cards – a focus on jobs of the future, particularly in fields that will help lower our carbon emissions. Now get to work…

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