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More jobs abolished as Australia downsizes government

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Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announced the first stage of budget cuts in May.

Australia is to scrap around 175 government agencies in what many say would exacerbate the country’s unemployment problems.

The decision is expected for Monday as part of Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s mid-year economic outlook. Abbot’s administration has already abolished more than 76 agencies in addition to selling the country’s largest health insurer Medibank Private.

Officials accuses the former labor administration of making the government too big and wasteful.

The list of departments waiting for abolition includes a consultative forum on veterans of the Vietnam war, an advisory committee on Antarctic and a specialized group working on drought. Some other departments will be consolidated into or merged with other organizations, bringing the total number to more than 170.

Australia faces increasing levels of budget deficit as the price of commodities is on the fall and the general demand from Chinese markets has experienced a decline over the past months.

The abolition of the government agencies has sparked criticism within the opposition, with their leaders saying the decision may be a blow to the general economic confidence in Australia and could further deepen the unemployment crisis in the country.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is expected to release the mid-year economic outlook Monday with many expecting the government’s budget deficit to amount to USD 35 billion.

Last week, Australia’s unemployment rate hit a new 12-year high, rising to 6.3 per cent.


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