‘Not what I said’: PM defends ‘good at job, get a job’ comment

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 16: Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference on October 16, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed repatriation flights would commence for Australians stuck in the UK, India and South Africa amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
‘Not what I said’: PM defends ‘good at job, get a job’ comment. Source: Getty

The Prime Minister has today backpedalled on comments he made about the jobs market in yesterday’s Parliamentary Question Time, saying they were taken out of context.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked in Wednesday’s Question Time session why an associate of John Howard’s was awarded a $240,000 contract with the Bushfire Recovery Agency.

Morrison said the employee was “eminently qualified,” before saying, “if you are good at your job, you will get a job, that's how it works, Mr Speaker.”

On Thursday, Morrison was asked by a fellow Minister: “My question is to the Prime Minister, you said yesterday if you are good at your job you will get a job.

“A person is in his 60s and was made redundant last year and if he doesn't get a job he will have to sell his house. Why does the Prime Minister say people like Paul have not been able to find jobs because they are good enough?”

But the Prime Minister backflipped on Thursday, saying it was an “ugly misrepresentation”.

“That is not what I said, Mr Speaker! That is not what I said,” Morrison said. “That is a rather ugly misrepresentation, Mr Speaker!”

The Prime Minister continued: “Two appointments in positions in the Government Mr Speaker, that is what I was asked about,” he said.

“There are a million people through the course of the Covid-19 recession who found themselves out of work through no fault of their own.

“We have gone beyond that by putting in place the $101 billion JobKeeper program that has provided a lifeline to 3 million Australians...and by doubling the JobSeeker payments through the Covid-19 supplement to make Australians get through the worst of this crisis and cushion the blow.”

Australians must ‘regularly reskill’

On Wednesday the Prime Minister warned that Australians would need to “regularly reskill” to keep up with the speed of change in the digital economy.

“The digital economy is central to these tasks, to creating the jobs that Australians need. The speed of change in the digital economy means that our training system needs to be fast and responsive,” he told The Australian’s e-commerce summit.

“The pace of technological change means people are more likely to need to regularly reskill. These are the facts.”

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