‘A pathetic attack on his own country’: Labor’s assistant treasurer is being slammed for a New York Times column that accuses Australia of plunging the economy into the abyss
- Labor frontbench Andrew Leigh attacked for an opinion piece in the New York Times
- Leigh was critical of Australian employment, saying the numbers were above average
- Liberal MP Tim Wilson called on Bill Shorten to subsequently fire his colleague
- Mr Wilson accused Mr Leigh of “bagging the Australian economy”.
Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh has come under fire from his political opponents for his less than palatable take on Australia’s economy.
Liberal MP Tim Wilson said in a statement to The Australian that in the United States Mr Leigh would “bag the Australian economy”.
“Dr. Andrew Leigh can wax lyrical in university corridors, but when he starts bagging Australia’s economy in the newspapers of the world’s largest capital market, he puts partisan politics ahead of investments that will create jobs.”
Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh (pictured) has come under fire from his political opponents for his less than palatable take on Australia’s economy
Liberal’s Tim Wilson and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) hit back at Andrew Leigh’s opinion piece for The New York Times
Mr. Leigh wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times last month. He said Australia’s unemployment rate had not only surpassed the American figure, but also the developed world average.
“While major economies like Germany and the United States have unemployment rates below 4 percent, Australia is around 5.5 percent,” Leigh said.
“This country’s so-called miracle economy doesn’t look so wonderful.”
Mr Wilson said the Labor Party frontbencher should get his marching orders.
“This is a leadership test for Bill Shorten – will he stand by job creation and sack Andrew Leigh as Shadow Secretary for compromising our economic interests?”
Mr Wilson argued that downplaying Australia’s economic strength would discourage much-needed investment in the United States.
Although the opinion piece was published in the American newspaper last month, it has only just attracted attention after Mr Leigh tweeted it in response to a recent issue of The Economist.
The front page of the political newspaper showed a strong Australian economy.
“I would be a bit more humble about our economic performance,” Mr. Leigh tweeted.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg took to Twitter to hit back at Labor front bencher Andrew Leigh
“Unemployment has recently been above the OECD average, real wages have been stagnant for at least five years, and the economy lacks the diversity of many advanced nations. It’s a lot to do.’
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hit back on the social media site.
‘[Mr Leigh] launches a pathetic attack on his own country… Labor should be proud of Aust[ralia’s] achievements & leaves self-loathing to the closed assemblies of his socialist collective.
‘Shorten should rein Leigh.’
Mr Leigh retaliated, saying the country shouldn’t pull its wool over its eyes. He said Mr Wilson reminded him “of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, he just thinks we can’t deal with the truth that the real problems in Australia’s economy should be swept under the rug”.