How Premier Anna Palaszczuk is misleading Australia when it comes to JobKeeper as she’s told to check her facts in a startling takedown
- Premier asked federal government to extend JobKeeper beyond March 28
- But she was slammed by Scott Morrison over sudden border shutdowns
- Josh Frydenberg has accused her of ‘grandstanding and petty politicking’
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has accused Annastacia Palaszczuk of ‘grandstanding, petty politicking’ and ignoring facts in the latest round of their ongoing JobKeeper dispute.
In January the Queensland Premier visited struggling tourism businesses in Cairns and asked the federal government to extend the $100 billion scheme beyond March 28.
But she was rebuked by Scott Morrison and criticised for crippling small companies with her sudden border shutdowns throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queensland Premier has demanded an extension of JobKeeper but the government has refused. Pictured: Brisbane residents wearing masks during an outbreak in January
Writing in the Courier-Mail on Tuesday, Mr Frydenberg said the federal government has done the ‘bulk of the heavy lifting’ to support Queenslanders and Ms Palaszczuk should open her own wallet.
The federal government has given $28.5 billion to Queenslanders in the past year, while the premier has only committed $8.8 billion across the next four years.
He suggested the premier was misleading voters, writing: ‘Annastacia Palaszczuk is entitled to her own opinions but not her own facts’.
‘The reality is the Morrison Government has already delivered to Queenslanders more than three times the amount of economic support than the Palaszczuk Government has committed to.’
Mr Frydernberg, who has previously urged Ms Palaszczuk to do more to support tourism businesses, also said her government has provided the lowest level of economic support of any State or Territory Government.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (left) has accused Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) of ‘grandstanding, petty politicking’ and ignoring facts
Victoria has committed to spend nine per cent of its income on Covid-19 support measures and NSW has pledged seven per cent – but in Queensland that figure is only two per cent.
By contrast the federal government has committed $251 billion, or 13 per cent of GDP, on measures such as JobKeeper, tax cuts and boosted welfare payments.
‘No amount of grandstanding and petty politicking by the Queensland Premier will detract from the indisputable fact that when it comes to the economic response in Queensland, the Morrison Government has done the bulk of the heavy lifting,’ Mr Frydenberg wrote.
The premier hit back, telling reporters on Tuesday: ‘When JobKeeper ends there are going to be a lot of people in the tourism industry that are really going to be feeling the effects of it.
‘I notice that Josh Frydenberg said some words today. I’d like to say one thing to Josh Frydenberg: go up to Cairns and talk to people.’
The Treasurer explained that JobKeeper cannot continue because it stops workers moving to more productive roles and keeps businesses afloat that would otherwise go under even without coronavirus.
The federal government has committed $251 billion, or 13 per cent of GDP, on measures such as JobKeeper, tax cuts and boosted welfare payments
But he said he was considering further ‘targeted’ support that is ‘proportionate and temporary.’
Some analysts say this could include loans to tourism businesses.
Last month the prime minister rejected Ms Palaszczuk’s plea to extend JobKeeper beyond March 28, saying that state governments must accept the cost of the policies they impose.
‘States can make decisions about what they intend to do in areas of their responsibility but they are then also responsible for dealing with and mitigating the decisions that they make.
‘It is not a blank cheque,’ he told reporters.
Mr Morrison said the federal government has already done ‘the heavy lifting’ in terms of supporting the economy through coronavirus and insisted ‘you can’t run the economy on taxpayers’ money forever.’
Scott Morrison has urged states to support their economies when they impose lockdowns and border controls – instead of asking for handouts