Anthony Albanese has brushed off his huge campaign blunder by quoting Taylor Swift
Anthony Albanese has brushed off his huge election campaign blunder by quoting Taylor Swift.
While being peppered with questions on Tuesday about his well-publicised failure to recall key economic figures, the Labor leader said ‘my theory is shake it off’.
During a train-wreck press conference in Launceston on Monday, Mr Albanese could not state the cash rate and then wrongly guessed the jobless rate was 5.4 per cent when it’s actually 4 per cent.
The moment dominated news coverage of the first day of the official campaign for the May 21 election, and was seized upon by the Coalition as an example of its claim that Labor cannot manage the economy.
The Liberals are already running ads featuring video of the mistake alongside their new campaign slogan ‘it won’t be easy under Albanese’.
A fired up Scott Morrison on Tuesday said the Labor leader has ‘no idea what has happened with Australia’s economic recovery’.
Mr Morrison – who failed to state the price of milk and bread at the National Press Club earlier this year – twisted the knife on his opponent in a press conference in western Sydney.
He acknowledged that leaders can’t be expected to immediately recall every piece of data, but said this mistake was more than a mere memory slip.
‘He thought unemployment had a five in front of it. Not even a four in front of it,’ the PM said.
‘What that tells me is his working assumptions about our economy and what Australians are achieving in our economy he doesn’t know and he doesn’t understand.’
The reference to Taylor Swift (pictured) was Mr Albanese’s second lyric quote of the campaign after he quoted the Ramones on Sunday, saying: ‘Hey-Ho Let’s go!’
Scott Morrison (pictured on Tuesday) has blasted Anthony Albanese for his disastrous blunder over economic figures
The Prime Minister added: ‘His assumption that unemployment had a five in front of it, that’s what I found more staggering. If he said 4.3 or 3.8 or something like that, it was a memory slip.
‘What this showed was he had no idea what has happened with Australia’s economy recovery.’
Mr Albanese defended his blunder on Tuesday, saying: ‘I was concentrating on something else, it shouldn’t have happened, it did.’
‘I fessed up, took responsibility, that is what I will do. From time to time, if ever I make a mistake, I will own it and I will accept responsibility.’
He added: ‘Here is a Taylor Swift comment for you, my theory is ”shake it off”.’
It was Mr Albanese’s second lyric quote of the campaign after he quoted the Ramones on Sunday, saying: ‘Hey-Ho Let’s go!’
It comes after Mr Morrison pledged to create 1.3million jobs over the next five years as he trumpets his Government’s economic achievements on the election campaign trail.
The Government says the jobs will be created as a result of its Budget policies including an extra $20billion for road and rail projects, $7.1billion for major infrastructure projects in four regional areas and $2.8billion for apprentice wage subside programs.
Mr Morrison has pledged to create 1.3million jobs over the next five years. Pictured: Tradies in Sydney
After the Coalition pumped billions of dollars into the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate sits at 4 per cent, down from from 5.7 per cent when Labor left office.
Mr Morrison will insist that if re-elected he will drive this rate down further and create even more jobs.
‘We’ve got the runs on the board and proven plans to deliver these 1.3 million new jobs,’ he said in a statement.
‘Our tax relief for workers and small business, our investments in skills and trades, and our support for our local manufacturing sector mean we can get more people into more jobs.’
The Coalition claims Labor ‘don’t have a plan for the economy and jobs’, but Anthony Albanese disputes this by pointing to his plan for fee-free TAFE places, cheaper childcare and plan to get power bills down with renewable energy.
The Labor leader has unveiled a plan to boost mental health telehealth consultations in regional areas by implementing a 50 per cent regional loading under Medicare.
The ALP says the plan will support 450,000 consultations over four years at a cost of cost $31.3 million.
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese drinks a coffee ahead of a morning TV interview on Day 1 of the 2022 federal election campaign in Launceston on Monday