Media Release by The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Labor and the unions wrong again

Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison told Parliament today that the best way to control our welfare expenditure is to get Australians into jobs.

“Getting Australians into jobs by securing free trade agreements, such as the landmark deal with China is central to the government’s economic plan and key to reducing the reliance of Australians on welfare,” Minister Morrison said.

“It is disappointing that Labor are choosing to frustrate and risk this important agreement with trumped up and hypocritical allegations about 457 visas.

“It is well known that when the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen was Minister for Immigration and Border Protection around 25,000 people arrived illegally by boat.

“This is not the only record that the now Shadow Treasurer set when he was in office, he was Minister for Immigration in the record years for 457 visa grants.

“In both 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 more than 68,000 457 visas were granted to foreign workers, the highest on record.

“Since the last election under the Coalition Government, the number of 457 visas granted has fallen by 25 per cent.

“Further, the number of 457 visas granted in Western Australia has fallen by more than 40 per cent.

“The Union and Labor alliance has also run scare campaigns on electricians coming in on 457 visas.

“In 2011/2012 and 2012/13 records were also set in this category for 457s but under this Government approval rates have dropped by two thirds.

“In Western Australia the number of electricians coming in on 457 visas has fallen by more than three-quarters.

“The Coalition is taking the right action to ensure Australians can find work and stay in work. We are achieving this though our innovative Free Trade Agreements, export agreements, and measures including the new Jobs for Families child care package.

“The Coalition government is focused on ensuring that Australians who have a go get a fair go, and our free trade agreements are giving Australians a fair go.

“The union and Labor alliance needs to stop running campaigns with the wrong information for their own political gain,” Minister Morrison said.