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Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor Leader Anthony Albanese have both been contradicted by fellow party members on policy issues, in a shaky start to both of their election campaigns.
Mr Albanese was asked on Friday at a testy press conference why he did not know that Labor’s 50 urgent care clinics pledge was not fully costed, when he had claimed on Wednesday that it was.
He first said that the $135million plans ‘will be’ formally costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, before asserting ‘they are’ fully costed after a barrage of more questions.
Scott Morrison (pictured with member for Chisholm Gladys Liu) was criticised for backflipping on a key pledge to establish a federal corruption watchdog
Costed or not costed? Mr Albanese’s (pictured at a Good Friday church service) 50 urgent care clinics pledge has hit a snag as contradictions came to light from Labor’s finance spokeswoman this week
‘They were informed by the PBO and all of our policies will be fully costed and fully released,’ Albanese said on Friday.
But when he was asked again, he said: ‘the policy is fully costed, and it’s informed by work that was done by the PBO.’
Albanese at the announcement of the scheme on Wednesday was adamant the numbers had been crunched, yet Labor’s finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher the next day admitted the pledge was not formally costed.
She put out a tweet to try and clear up any ‘confusion’.
‘The costing of Labor’s Urgent Care Centre policy is based on work done by the PBO, but for the avoidance of any confusion, has not been formally costed by the PBO,’
‘All of Labor’s policies and costings will be released before the election.’
The clinics are designed to relieve pressure on hospitals and would be open 14 hours a day.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pictured in the Teddy Bear Hospital at the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese takes a selfie with aged care workers during a visit to Fairways Retirement Living and Residential Aged Care in Bundaberg, Queensland
Labor’s finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher (pictured) corrected Mr Albanese’s assertions about the clinics costings, saying they have not been formally costed
Meanwhile, Liberal MPs spent Friday morning trying to walk back Mr Morrison’s lack of enthusiasm to establish a federal corruption watchdog despite it being an election promise in 2019.
Frontbenchers Stuart Robert and Simon Birmingham said the coalition would try again to establish an anti-corruption body despite the prime minister’s apparent backflip.
‘We will come back again and we will seek, through a bipartisan level, to get that going,’ Mr Robert told Nine Network.
Mr Morrison on Thursday blamed Labor for the pledge not going ahead as they wouldn’t support the bill.
‘I put forward a detailed plan, a detailed proposal which the Labor party rejects. I have honoured my proposal. The Labor party don’t support it. That is where the issue rests.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to worshippers after a Good Friday service at the Syndal Baptist Church in Melbourne
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese delivers a reading as he attends the Good Friday Liturgy at St Charbel’s Monastery in Sydney
Frontbenchers Stuart Robert and Simon Birmingham (pictured) said the coalition would try again to establish an anti-corruption body despite the prime minister’s apparent backflip
Despite the war of words, Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese attended Good Friday church services after they both promised to suspend the political fight on the sacred public holiday.
Mr Morrison attended Syndal Baptist Church in Melbourne’s west while Mr Albanese attended a Maronite mass at St Charbel’s in Sydney’s southwest.
‘Easter is not about politics. My faith isn’t about politics,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘One of the great things about Australia is that people are allowed to practise their faith with respect,’ Mr Albanese said.
The opposition leader was later joined by the prime minister’s wife and former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott at the Good Friday mass in Sydney.
Mr Morrison’s wife, Jenny, and their daughters, Abbey and Lily, were greeted by Mr Albanese, as was Mr Abbott. Mr Albanese and Mrs Morrison both gave readings.
The two will go head-to-head in their first debate of the election campaign on Wednesday in Brisbane ahead of the poll on May 21.
Source: Daily Mail