Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has doubled down on bold job creation claims despite senior officials contradicting his calculations.
Mr Frydenberg has promised to generate 450,000 jobs through a youth wage subsidy scheme.
But bureaucrats from his own department have confirmed only 10 per cent of the jobs will be genuinely new.
Mr Frydenberg stuck to his more generous estimate while defending the $4 billion scheme.
“We on this side of the house are for all Australian workers and we are using the JobMaker hiring credit scheme to do so,” he told parliament on Tuesday.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said Labor was always sceptical the scheme would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“Something like 90 per cent of those jobs that the government claimed aren’t actually going to be created by this program,” Dr Chalmers said on Tuesday.
“They’ve given false hope to 400,000 younger workers in this country, which is pretty shameful in itself.”
Youth Minister Richard Colbeck did not provide any specific input into the hiring credit scheme.
“But I have been talking to my colleagues … about ensuring that we had a priority on managing youth measures,” he told a Senate estimates hearing.
The Morrison government has promised to create more than 500,000 jobs from two other major initiatives.
But neither estimate was based on Treasury advice.
The government said its energy security road map would create 130,000 jobs by 2030.
As well, its manufacturing plan is being promoted as creating 80,000 direct jobs and 300,000 indirect jobs.
Treasury officials have confirmed the job figures for the energy plan were produced by the industry department based on advice from consultants.
The department also had no visibility over figures used in the manufacturing plan.
Labor quizzed the treasurer about whether the ambitious estimates were spin over substance.
Mr Frydenberg rejected the accusation, saying he was committed to creating 950,000 jobs in coming years.
“I don’t know what those opposite have got against creating jobs but we on this side of the house are in favour of creating jobs,” he said.
Under the youth wage subsidy scheme, employers that take on jobless people aged under 30 will receive $200 a week for 12 months, while those who hire people aged 30 to 35 will receive regular payments of $100.
In order to receive the subsidies, employers must prove the new recruits add to their headcount and wages bill.
The employees must work at least 20 hours a week.
Small businesses want the subsidies increased by at least 50 per cent to encourage more employers to take on new staff.