PM stokes the wrong fire

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review
Originally published in The Australian Financial Review on February 19, 2013

The government’s obsession with speeding up the mining boom has delivered an exchange rate and a shortage of skilled labour that is devastating the manufacturing industry. Rather than take its foot off the mining boom accelerator or admit that the miners’ boom means a bust for manufacturers, the government is trying to buy itself some taxpayer-funded alms. Spending $250 million per year will do virtually nothing to help the $100 billion manufacturing industry cope with an exchange rate that is 40 per cent above its historic average. But if it eases the guilt or persuades the electorate, then maybe it’s worth it.

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