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Joe Hockey anger at Fairfax Media misplaced as 'these are Treasury figures' says Chris Bowen

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Labor backs Treasury modelling

Joe Hockey calls it 'deliberately misleading'- but Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says Treasury modelling proves the budget is unfair.

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Treasurer Joe Hockey has a “glass jaw”, is “in denial” and attacking the media instead of acknowledging his budget’s impacts on the poor, the opposition says.

The comments from shadow treasurer Chris Bowen on Monday morning follow an attack from Mr Hockey earlier on what he says is a “deliberately misleading” report based on Treasury modelling prepared for the budget.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen. Photo: Andrew Meares

Treasury data, released under freedom of information and revealed by Fairfax Media, shows low income earners would be $844 worse off compared to a $517 hit for those on higher incomes in 2016-17.

Mr Hockey has angrily denied the data indicates the government knew its budget would hit the poor the hardest, saying the figures don't tell the complete story.

"It doesn't take into account the fact that higher income households pay half their income in tax and, on average, higher income households fund the benefits that go to an average of nearly four lower income households," the Treasurer told the Nine Network's Today program.

"Every dollar that lower income households receive comes from higher income households," he said, adding the report failed to take into account the range of benefits the poor receive, including cheaper transport, medicines and the pension.

He accused Fairfax of spreading "misinformation" with its report, which he said was "malevolent".

But the shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said the “glass jaw” Treasurer was attacking the media for “daring” to report on the data and said Mr Hockey should be “acknowledging [the] treasury figures show the fundamental unfairness of the budget,” instead.

"These are Treasury figures. These aren't Sydney Morning Herald's figures, not the Labor Party's figures - these are Treasury figures, which have been released under FOI," Mr Bowen told ABC Radio.

"They go to the impact of this budget, the decisions he took," he added.

He said the government could not disown the Treasury’s research because they did not like what it showed.

Mr Bowen said that, while budgets had to be considered in their entirety, the government could not ignore the way its budget decisions directly affected those on lower incomes.

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192 comments

  • Dear oh dear. It is quite something that this government has conducted themselves in a way that makes the previous shambles look like professionals.

    Commenter
    Citizen N
    Date and time
    August 04, 2014, 1:32PM
    • I cant believe i'm saying "Bring Back Julia Gillard!"

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 1:53PM
    • the liberal trolls are out in force today.. hey, look over there! careful they may cite some 'statistics' from The Australian..

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 1:55PM
    • Nice comment @citizen.

      Australia needs a new party. Of moderates that look after Australians. Not sell us out to big business and or give the nations wealth to "the poor". (The poor should never be used to describe any Australian..We're all rich).

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 1:58PM
    • I shudder to think what would happen to truth in the media if gina rinehart buys up Fairfax media, as she has indicated. The news according to Rupert and Gina, to me, as to most reasonable people, would be a truly frightening prospect.

      Commenter
      rosssurf
      Location
      newcastle
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 1:58PM
    • Yep...theres no sense so uncommon as common sense....

      Commenter
      Twig
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 1:58PM
    • There is nothing that even resembles the shambles of the previous six years of Labor incompetence and mis-management.

      The years 2007 to 2013 will long live as the benchmark of fiscal ineptitude.

      Commenter
      Max
      Location
      Stafford Heights
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 2:02PM
    • Right on! +1

      Commenter
      vandownunder
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 2:03PM
    • Yep, but in reality both sides of the double dictatorship are inept and are only going to get worse.

      Best strategy is to view the Liberal and Labor parties as a single useless entity. Let's stop our bickering and begin discussing the prospects of introducing a completely new 21st century, fully democratic election system, which produces quality people. It's well and truly overdue.

      Commenter
      kanga
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 2:08PM
    • @Max. Easy to make statements like that but can you back that up with fact especially facts that take the bigger picture into account?
      A great starting point would be to look at 'judgments' of economic management as given by the experts in their field like the IMF, rather than listening to political spin mate. Open your eyes so that you can see who to listen to.

      Commenter
      vandownunder
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 2:08PM

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