Scott Morrison has wrongly stated that Australians on welfare get $46 per week when it’s actually $46 a day – just hours after the opposition leader failed to answer a basic question about an election promise.
The Prime Minister was talking to reporters in Perth about the cost of living on Monday when he made the major blunder.
Jason Clare, Labor’s housing and homelessness spokesman, highlighted the gaffe on Twitter.
‘Today Scott Morrison got the Jobseeker rate wrong,’ Mr Clare wrote.
‘Not by a little – he was out by $276 a week.’
Scott Morrison (pictured) got an economy question very wrong when speaking with reporters
Scott Morrison (pictured in Perth on Monday) brushed the gaffe off as a slip of the tongue
‘Will he come out and correct the record?’
Someone from Mr Morrison’s team said it was a slip of the tongue.
Earlier on Monday, Anthony Albanese was unable to answer exactly how many nurses would be needed to fulfil his election promise of 50 urgent care clinics across Australia.
When put on the spot during a press conference in Brisbane on Monday morning, the Labor leader gave a vague answer about every clinic having different needs.
‘Each place is different. We know for example the melanoma institute… will use that funding of $14 million to employ additional nurses. That will allow them to employ 35 additional nurses,’ Mr Albanese said.
Mr Albanese has promised all 50 clinics will be up and running in 2023 if he is elected prime minister on May 21.
Anthony Albanese could not answer exactly how many nurses would be needed to fulfil his election promise of 50 urgent care clinics across Australia
Labor critics are seen near where Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese holds a press conference after inspecting a street affected by recent flooding
‘We know that it’s a challenge but we also know that we have an obligation regardless of who’s in government to train more nurses, to train more doctors,’ he said on Monday as he kicked off the second week of official campaigning.
A local reporter accused him of failing to provide the ‘finer details’ of the plan.
He argued clinics would be run by GPs and nurses who would be able to determine their exact staffing needs at a later date.
Mr Albanese did, however, have the facts at hand regarding the Coalition’s perceived failings during natural disasters and crises.
‘What we saw from the federal government, whether it be bushfires, floods or the pandemic… a real pattern of behaviour,’ the opposition leader said.
‘Scott Morrison, after the election in the 2019-20 bushfires, went missing. And he failed to act soon enough, and he only acted when the political pressure was really put on.
When put on the spot during a press conference in Brisbane on Monday morning, the Labor leader gave a vague answer about every clinic having different needs
‘On floods we saw again a political response rather than a human response. Rather than looking at people who were going through a really tough time and saying, ‘What can we do to help?’
Mr Albanese was in Brisbane meeting with flood victims who have not yet been able to return to their homes.
Labor senator Murray Watt, who stood by Mr Albanese’s side during the conference in Brisbane, also addressed Queenslanders directly saying residents in the Sunshine State had more reasons than most to abandon the Coalition.
‘Why is it [that] wherever Queenslanders need Scott Morrison the most, he always turns his back – whether it’s Covid, whether it’s floods, whether it’s infrastructure or anything else,’ Mr Watt said.
‘It’s about time Queenslanders and all of Australians had a prime minister who’s prepared to work with the whole country, bring the whole country together, not pit state against state and mate against mate.’
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese greets local kids as he inspects a street affected by recent flooding
Mr Albanese’s latest slip-up was just a week after he failed to correctly state the national unemployment and interest rates during a disastrous press conference on the first full day of the election campaign.
The Labor leader was asked if he knew what the interest rate was, but dodged the question. The rate has been at a historic low of 0.1 per cent since November 2020.
Mr Albanese was later asked what the national unemployment rate was. He tried to guess but got it wrong.
‘The national unemployment rate at the moment is… I think it’s 5.4… sorry. I’m not sure what it is,’ he said. The unemployment rate is 4 per cent, the lowest since 2008.
Shadow Finance Minister Katy Gallagher was able to answer both questions correctly.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s popularity is back on the rise as he and his wife Jenny greeted children at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Meanwhile in Perth on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked to rule out future cuts to Medicare if he is re-elected.
‘I thought Anne Ruston, who I announced [as health minister] yesterday, should we be successful at the election… said yesterday there would not be any cuts. And I would repeat that today,’ he said.
‘I was clear about that yesterday. And why can I say that? Because under our government, we went from $19.1 billion in expenditure on Medicare to $31.4 billion. So we took a bulk-billing rate from 82.2 per cent to 88.8 per cent.
‘The reason we have been able to achieve that is the same reason we can invest in the ships behind us. Because we have been running a strong economy, and we know how to manage a budget.’
Labor jumped on comments Ms Ruston made back in 2014 about the viability of Medicare to express concerns her appointment as health minister could spell the end for subsidised public healthcare.
‘This is a health minister now designate, if they’re successful in the election, who we know will undermine Medicare,’ Mr Albanese said in Brisbane.
Ms Ruston was quick to assure the public there was no threat to Medicare.
Anthony Albanese’s election hopes took a hit after a significant blunder during the first week of campaigning but the margin of error in the latest opinion poll indicates it’s still too close to call
Mr Albanese’s election hopes took a hit after a significant blunder during the first week of campaigning, but the margin of error in the latest opinion poll indicates it’s not over yet.
Both Mr Albanese and Scott Morrison suffered a series of gaffes in recent days but a poll conducted by Resolve Political Monitor found the prime minister’s approval rating actually improved.
Despite recapturing the lead as preferred PM, analysts said he was not a sure bet and opinions were likely to continue flip-flopping ahead of the May 21 election.
There is a 2.6 per cent margin of error within the latest data. Just 1,404 people participated in the polling over the course of one week.
The larger the margin of error, the less confidence the general public should have that the poll result would reflect the opinions of the entire population.
Despite Mr Morrison’s personal popularity rising, the Resolve Strategic survey indicates Labor would win 51-49 in a two-party preferred vote.
But 27 per cent of voters said they were still not committed to voting for one party over the other despite the election being in just five weeks.
These swing voters could throw polling statistics out of the window come election day.