AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Launches Twitter Tirade, Calls Shorten Liar
Malcolm Turnbull ‘pulled a Donald Trump’ on Sunday, launching a Twitter tirade after a media report claimed the government will scrap welfare payments in the May Budget.
The prime minister Malcolm Turnbull also labelled Bill Shorten a liar during a ‘tweet rampage’ sparked by a News Corp article claiming the government was looking to scrap all welfare payments below $20.02 a fortnight, a change targeted at aged pensioners.
In a series of rapid-fire tweets, the prime minister slapped down the report and took aim at the Labor leader.
‘I can assure all aged pensioners the measure reported will NOT be in the budget,’ he tweeted.
In another tweet he said he had assured the author of the story this was the case, ‘but she insisted on writing the story’.
He finished: ‘And sadly, I can assure you that you can always rely on Bill Shorten to lie’.
The tirade had some Twitter users comparing Mr Turnbull to President Trump, known for his social media rants against news organisations which criticise him.
‘Malcolm Turnbull has pulled a Donald Trump – taking to Twitter to complain about a news story,’ one commented.
Mr Shorten said the ‘tweet rampage’ shows the prime minister is feeling the pressure of running the government.
‘I’m starting to feel sorry for Mr Turnbull,’ Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.
‘Mr Turnbull, I think, is showing signs of pressure. He can’t cope with the pressure.’
He said Mr Turnbull should focus on the needs of everyday Australians instead of blaming Labor.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the newspaper article, which cited a departmental document, was ‘wrong’.
‘Such a proposal would not be fair to pensioners and any such measure will NOT be in the budget,’ Mr Porter said in a statement.
The proposal referred to in the article was nothing more than a suggestion put forward by a department and immediately rejected by the government, as the journalist responsible for the article was advised, he said.
– Daily Mail