Albanese Keeps Saying Bad Policies Are “Inherited” From The Coalition, But Won’t Fix Them
"Can someone please tell Albo that new governments can make new decisions?"
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has blamed “inherited” policies for his government’s decision to scrap free RATs for concession card holders from July 31, despite tens of thousands of cases being recorded daily.
In addition to the recent decision to end pandemic leave payments at the conclusion of the financial year, Health Minister Mark Butler confirmed on Tuesday that concession card holders will no longer be entitled to 10 free rapid antigen tests per quarter after July 31.
But instead of owning the decision, which will have immediate repercussions for low-income Australians amid rising inflation and an increase in COVID cases, Albanese has been quick to dodge responsibility and blame the decision on the previous government.
Speaking with the ABC’s Radio National on Wednesday, Albanese said the decision was “inherited from the former government and state governments”.
“I’d encourage concession card holders to go and get the 10 free rapid antigen tests that they’re eligible for by the end of this month. There’s still a lot of time to go and do that,” said Albanese.
The comment comes after Albanese used a similar excuse for ending pandemic leave earlier in the week.
“We inherited the former government’s decision on this and we also inherited $1 trillion of debt,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“They are circumstances which my government faces … there are a range of things we would like to do, but we intend to be fiscally responsible in how we deal with issues.”
Labor has been criticised for neglecting to make its own decisions, particularly given the fact that the Coalition’s policies on RATs and pandemic leave were implemented before the recent surge in cases.
Queensland Greens Senator Penny Allman-Payne took to Twitter to call out the PM for citing the trillion dollar debt as a reason for axing such vital lifelines.
Can someone please tell @AlboMP that new governments can make new decisions! Now is not the time to withdraw free RATs and Covid support payments. And blaming the ‘trillion dollar debt’ is a cop out. How about they cut some of those fossil fuel subsidies instead. #RNBreakfast
— Penny Allman-Payne (@penejane70) July 12, 2022
Social media users were also quick to remind Albanese that a new government does not need to uphold the old government’s decisions.
Albanese is asked about ending pandemic leave payments, “We inherited a decision made by the former government” yeah, and you can change that. You’re in government now. You’re not in government to wave through all the decisions made by the previous government. Pathetic response.
— Shane Bazzi (@shanebazzi) July 12, 2022
Well then change the decision?? You can do that now. https://t.co/lhh753zvM0
— al is exhausted (@AlexNeedsBraces) July 13, 2022
So change it then, ya fuckwit. https://t.co/imZfH2Y2cx
— plants have feelings and I eat them (@Felix786) July 13, 2022
Hey Labor fans, embarrassed yet?
Can't change inherited decisions even when the situation has changed?
Does that that mean they'll continue with every inherited decision or just the ones that screw the most vulnerable?#auspol https://t.co/TnZ97SR7qk
— Paul (@tnsprofpunter) July 12, 2022