Abbott's plan for Tassie jobs

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 08 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

Tony Abbott, centre, with State Liberal leader Will Hodgman, left, and Braddon Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley announces his jobs plan for Tasmania. Pictures:CHRIS KIDD

DOLE recipients will be given a hand up by the Coalition after Tony Abbott announced a plan to encourage businesses to hire the long-term unemployed.

The Opposition Leader unveiled a scheme to create 2000 jobs in Tasmania within his first term of government by paying businesses $250 a week for six months after they kept a previous dole recipient on for more than six months.

The plan would be available to people who have been on the Newstart Allowance for six months or more.

"It will cost $6.5 million," he said.

But Mr Abbott couldn't confirm exactly how the scheme would be funded.

"The full list of saves and spends will be out there for public to consider in good time before the election," Mr Abbott said.

The Opposition Leader said the scheme was the first instalment of his jobs package for Tasmania, which is expected to be fruitful for the Coalition at the September 7 election.

Mr Abbott said he would announce the second part of his economic plan next week.

The plan was unveiled at a fish processing factory in Devonport.

It came on the same day as unemployment data showed Tasmania was still struggling with the highest rate across the country at 8.4 per cent.

Earlier in the day the Opposition Leader said he wanted Tasmania to be a "special economic zone" but just several hours later he crabwalked away from his statements.

"I know that there are some circumstances in which that is a term of art, what I am talking about is a special effort recognising Tasmania's special circumstances to make sure we have a much stronger economy here in the future," he said.

Mr Abbott also had an opportunity to cuddle up to a different kind of voter on the hustings in northern Tasmania.

After his announcement he stopped outside the fish factory to give Boo, a pomeranian dog, a pat.

Boo's owner Anne Jordan was delighted Mr Abbott made the effort to come over and see her.

"He was about to get into his car and I yelled out, 'Oi, Mr Abbott, come and say hello to Boo'," she said.

"I couldn't believe he came right over. Boo just lapped up all the attention.

"It was lucky he was a good boy and didn't growl or bite."

Ms Jordan, 48, from Devonport, would not reveal who she would vote for at the next election.

"I support anyone who looks after the pensioners," she said.

-- LANAI SCARR and REBEKAH CAVANAGH


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