Labor has accused the federal government of milking taxpayer funds to pay for advertising ahead of a looming election campaign.
At a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday afternoon, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham denied advertising spruiking the government’s economic recovery management plans were political.
“The use of government advertising campaigns for a range of factors is not uncommon,” he told the parliamentary committee.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to call the election within days.
Labor senator Tim Ayres held up an image of an advertisement showing a group of people’s feet and asked if the campaigns were purely “political advertising” to ask people to “vote Liberal”.
“No, senator,” Senator Birmingham replied.
Senator Ayres asked if the only reason the government still had not called an election was so it “can milk as much advertising out of the system as it can”.
Senator Birmingham said if the government had not fronted estimates hearings, the opposition would have accused them of “dodging” scrutiny.