In a heated press conference in the final days before the election, Scott Morrison slammed the Opposition Leader as a “precious” “hypocrite” while praising the government’s focus on the economy.
The Prime Minister stubbornly stayed on message about the Coalition’s economic performance while addressing the press on Thursday morning, emphasising the low unemployment rate of 4 per cent and the continued AAA rating of the country’s economy during a global pandemic.
Mr Morrison agreed the high cost of living was a concern and blamed global pressures for inflation and rising interest rates for the stagnant wages. He told the assembled press the only way to enact wage rises was to drive unemployment figures down.
“It is actually the most important job, the most important job that a federal government has in managing the economy is to get people into jobs,” he said.
He told journalists the Coalition was the best choice to manage the country’s continuing economic recovery.
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Mr Morrison slammed Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese as a “complete loose unit” on the economy and said the Labor Party had a poor record of managing the country’s finances.
Addressing the public from the electorate of Lyon in Tasmania, Mr Morrison accused Mr Albanese of “making stuff up” regarding the economy and real wages.
“Mr Albanese just runs off at the mouth on these issues,” he said.
“When you have never done a budget, you have no idea about the implications of what you’re saying for other ways of how it impacts on the economy.”
Mr Morrison also accused his opponent of trying to “run away” from media scrutiny by campaigning in Queensland while sending journalists to Canberra to cover the announcement of Labor’s election costs.
“We’re so late in the campaign now, and even today he wanted to run to the other end of the country, away from his own travelling media pack so he wouldn’t have to face questions,” he said.
Mr Morrison then rubbished the proposition that Mr Albanese was offended by the rhyme on his last name employed by the Liberal campaign (“It won’t be easy with Albanese”) and labelled the Labour leader as a “bit of a hypocrite”.
“If he’s that precious, and he can’t hack a campaign, then how on earth is he going to handle running this country?,” Mr Morrison asked.
When asked about his statement earlier in the campaign about changing his “bulldozer” attitude, Mr Morrison said he looked forward to an opportunity to be more inclusive and engaging. He told the press his actions as Australia’s leader demonstrated his brand of “empathy that comes with action”.
Mr Morrison also revealed he had no plans to alter the laws prohibiting the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory from making their own laws in relation to voluntary assisted dying.
During the heated press conference, Mr Morrison spoke stridently over journalists on several occasions and was accused of “bulldozing” through questions about his empathy and real wages.