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Scott Morrison appears to have dropped a major hint that the election will be called on May 14, spilling the beans in a morning radio interview.
Mystery has surrounded the exact date in which the Prime Minster is eyeing off a chance to take on Labor’s Anthony Albanese, but the latest Mr Morrison can send Australians to the polls is May 21.
Speculation has grown that Mr Morrison will call the election this weekend, fresh off a big-spending budget aimed at easing the cost of living and winning the hearts and hip pockets of voters.
Scott Morrison (pictured) appears to have dropped a major hint that the election will be called on May 14, spilling the beans in a morning radio interview
Radio host Ben Fordham (pictured) grilled Mr Morrison before the Prime Minister let it slip when voters are set to go to the polls
‘You calling an election this weekend?,’ he was asked, by 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Wednesday morning.
The Prime Minister responded: ‘The election will be in mid May.’
Fordham continued the grilling saying, ‘you’re not answering the question’.
‘When the election is called, everybody will know. We’re not far away now,’ Mr Morrison said.
Under the official rules of the Electoral Commission, voters need a minimum of 33 days notice before heading to the ballot box.
Mr Morrison is a significant underdog in this year’s federal election, with polls showing Labor leader Anthony Albanese (pictured) holding onto a two-party preferred lead of 55-45.
There are only three dates in May that the Prime Minister can call an election: May 7, 14 and 21.
Given the prime minister said the election is set to be held in mid May, many pundits are predicting it to be called for May 14.
Mr Morrison is a significant underdog in this year’s federal election, with polls showing Labor leader Anthony Albanese holding onto a two-party preferred lead of 55-45.
Budget 2022 at a glance: Winners and losers
Motorists – $300 saving per car over six months with fuel tax cut
Universities – extra spending on research commercialisation
Jobseekers – training to get into digital jobs
Low and middle-income earners – $420 cost of living relief
Regional Australians – extra road, rail, communications and business support
Underemployed – the underemployment rate stands at 6.6 per cent
State schools – Payments for state and territory government schools to drop by $796.5 million over four years
Recreation and culture – Drop of 13.9 per cent in real terms in spending over four years
Sport – Funding down 38.7 per cent in real terms over four years as community programs end
Health department bureaucrats – 381 positions to go as various programs come to an end
Allison Langdon rips into Scott Morrison over his ‘temporary fix’ Budget during a tense clash on the Today show – as PM responds to his own Senator’s extraordinary spray saying he’s NOT fit for the job
BY LEVI PARSONS
Scott Morrison has been grilled in a tense interview on morning TV with Allison Langdon taking him to task over his big spending budget and accusations by one of his own female Senators that he’s a ‘bully’.
The Today show host asked if last night’s Budget is more about ‘winning’ the upcoming election than addressing skyrocketing cost of living pressures.
The Prime Minister awkwardly fended off the pointed question as he gets set to call a federal election within days.
At the centre of Mr Morrison’s generous Budget was a major cut to fuel excise tax – set to save motorists about $300 on average over the next six months, a $420 handout for low and middle-income earners and a $1500 tax break for anyone earning under $126,000.
The government is also shelling out about $21billion on extra road, rail, communications and business support for regional Australia.
Scott Morrison has been grilled in a tense interview on morning TV with Allison Langdon (pictured) taking him to task over his big spending budget and accusations by one of his own female Senators that he’s a ‘bully’
‘This is about the cost of living pressures that Australians are facing and they need support now,’ Mr Morrison said on Wednesday.
Langdon replied: ‘With this budget are you addressing the cost of living or just the cost of winning?’
‘These fixes are temporary,’ she went on to say.
‘You’ve got this one-off payment and the six-month time frame on the fuel excise cuts. Are you expecting fuel and grocery prices to be affordable in six months time when the relief runs out?
‘No. it’s about the cost of living,’ the Prime Minister responded.
At the centre of Mr Morrison’s generous Budget was a major cut to fuel excise tax – set to save motorists about $300 on average over the next six months. Pictured: A Sydney motorists at the bowser
‘The Treasury papers shows in the Budget ‘we are expecting the cost of fuel to drop over that six months.’
He said, it doesn’t need to be election time for the government to offer economic relief, citing the implementation of the JobKeeper subsidy payment scheme to ease cost of living pressures during the Covid pandemic.
‘Right now there is a need because of what has happened with fuel prices. When fuel prices go up, the cost of food goes up.’
Mr Morrison was also put on the spot after a Liberal Senator launched an extraordinary attack on the nation’s leader describing him as unfit to be PM, a bully and an autocrat.
The Prime Minister said rising fuel prices are driving the cost of food up for Australians. Pictured: A Sydney shopper
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells laid into Mr Morrison during a late night appearance on the Senate floor on Tuesday evening, hours after the Budget was handed down.
‘One of your own slammed you last night.. Basically saying you’re a bully,’ Langdon said.
The PM did his best to tip-toe around the ‘brutal’ claims.
‘I don’t agree with that. She has been similarly disappointed in the past with my predecessors,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘There were 500 people who turned up from the Liberal Party on the weekend who made their choice about who they wanted to endorse for their Senate ticket in NSW.
‘She was disappointed and when people are disappointed they will say things and I understand that.’
Mr Morrison was also put on the spot by Allison Langdon (left) after a Liberal Senator launched an extraordinary attack on Mr Morrison (right) describing him as unfit to be PM, a bully and an autocrat
Speaking under the protection of parliamentary privilege, Ms Fierravanti-Wells said: ‘He (the Prime Minister) is adept at running with the foxes and hunting with the hounds, lacking a moral compass and having no conscience.
‘In my public life, I have met ruthless people. Morrison tops the list, followed closely by (party powerbroker and Immigration Minister Alex) Hawke.
‘Morrison is not fit to be Prime Minister and Hawke is certainly not fit to be a minister.’
Ms Fierravanti-Wells was recently dropped to an unwinnable spot on the Coalition’s Senate ticket for the Federal election.
The election date is expected to be announced in days, meaning her 17-year parliamentary career is rapidly coming to an end – at least for now.
During her spray, the senator claimed Liberal supporters are despairing at the party’s prospects, ‘and they blame Morrison for this’.
The senator’s speech was an unwelcome surprise for Prime Minister Scott Morrison (above, watching Josh Frydenberg’s Budget speech)
‘It is his way or the highway – (he’s) an autocrat, a bully who has no moral compass,’ she said.
The outgoing Liberal also told Parliament Mr Morrison made racist comments during his preselection for the seat of Cook in 2007.
‘I’m advised that there are several statutory declarations to attest to racial comments made by Morrison at the time that we “can’t have a Lebanese person in court”.’
Ms Fierravanti-Wells also claimed there is a ‘putrid stench of corruption emanating from the NSW division’ of the party.
She alleged Mr Morrison and Mr Hawke had deliberately contrived a crisis in the NSW branch of the Liberal party for the past year so they could have their own candidates installed.
‘I am appalled (party president Philip Ruddock) has allowed Morrison to bully his way to a situation where the next election has been put at risk all to save Hawke’s career.’
Mr Hawke was facing a preselection challenge for his own seat of Mitchell but was re-endorsed.
Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson was left stunned by the MP’s evening tirade. ‘Holy smokes,’ he said.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells’ Senate spray cast a pall over the government on an evening where the
Earlier this week, Senator Fierravanti-Wells took aim at the ‘Liberal sisterhood’ for failing to speak out against toxic parliamentary culture.
She referenced the death of Labor senator Kimberley Kitching to a heart attack at age 52 and how she was ostracised by Labor’s so-called ‘mean girls’.
‘We both had factional enemies who desperately wanted to see us defeated and they worked very hard at it,’ she said.
‘We were both outspoken and not constrained by prevalent groupthink within our political parties.’