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Productivity in the Construction Industry: Did it surge under the Coalition’s reforms?

David Peetz writes on John Menadue’s blog site (8.4.16) about unsupported claims made by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and others that the return of the ABCC would ‘again’ lift productivity in the building and construction sector.

‘On 7.30 recently the Prime Minister dismissed the Productivity Commission’s findings on productivity growth in the construction industry in favour of those from a small consultancy firm.  He used it to support a claim that the previous Coalition government’s legislative reforms in that industry had led to a 20% increase in construction productivity, which had ‘flatlined’ under Labor.

‘Actually, though, things were a bit different.  To see how we know it didn’t, and why he said it did, we look at (i) what’s it all about—what reforms are we measuring; (ii) what the official data show about productivity in that industry; (iii) why the Productivity Commission and a consultancy firm differed on the issue; and (iv) why the Prime Minister wanted to prefer the consultant’s version of events.’

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