Release type: Media Release


Media Statement


Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Tasmania

Allegations made in The Australian today by David Crowe that the Government sought to “massage” employment figures are false.

The story in The Australian contains numerous errors.

At no stage did staff in my office request that figures be “scaled up”.

At no stage did staff in my office suggest that the Department’s figures be “dumped” and replaced with alternative figures.

At no stage did any staff in my office suggest that figures be “massaged”.

The Department of Employment, with the agreement of the Government, will be publishing its annual employment projection figures this week, as was always intended. These figures are based on November 2013 MYEFO data and, as such, do not take account of the Government’s policy initiatives designed to increase employment.

During the course of the production of these figures, the Department offered to provide a second set of figures which take into account Government policies to create jobs, such as the abolition of the carbon tax and mining tax. These figures will not form part of the employment projection report to be published this week.

The leaked email quoted in the story clearly only requested input into the wording around the media release and in no way sought to alter the figures to be published.

I have full faith and confidence in the staff involved.

The story in The Australian is based on selectively leaked information. Mr Crowe did not contact the Department to seek to verify the accuracy of the information leaked to him.

The Department of Employment has confirmed that the allegations made to The Australian are not correct.