Triple J Hammered Scott Morrison For Screwing Young People Around During COVID

"I mean, there are things that happen within your control, and things that happen out of your control," ScoMo said.

Hack Scott Morrison

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Triple J’s Hack ripped into Prime Minister Scott Morrison for continually failing young people throughout COVID, in his first interview with the ABC news radio show since 2019.

Young Australians have been hit hard over the last year: having Centrelink payments rolled back and cut, being unfairly targeted in the latest Federal COVID ad, and being left economically screwed over for at least the next ten years.

Hack’s fill-in host Ange McCormack grilled Morrison on the vaccine rollout, Youth Allowance, mental health, and climate change.

Morrison described the pandemic as a “challenge of [this] generation”, in response to McCormack saying our formative years have been spent in lockdown.

McCormack’s most pressing question was around when young people will be prioritised for vaccinations, or at the bare minimum, given a clearer idea on how to get jabbed. The Prime Minister skirted around his answer, deflecting to say that everyone can currently receive AstraZeneca, despite ATAGI recommendations for the age group.

She also grilled him on Australia being last on the list of OECD countries for vaccination rates — which Morrison denied, despite ample evidence suggesting otherwise.

“We’ve been picking up that pace over these last few months. I mean, there are things that happen within your control, and things that happen out of your control,” Morrison said.

As it stands, South Australia has just joined NSW and Victoria in lockdown — as the three states struggle to bring the wildly infectious Delta variant under control.

“But if we were on time and you’d done this roll-out properly, wouldn’t it have prevented the lockdowns potentially?” McCormack rebuffed, bringing up how the Federal Government didn’t order enough Pfizer from overseas last November.

A listener also messaged in as a student working in hospo on Youth Allowance, who currently can’t go to her job right now, has to get by on $250 a week, and doesn’t meet the bill for COVID support payments. Morrison equated her experience to people working full-time on an average wage, and claimed the Centrelink payment should be enough.

“The Government isn’t replacing everybody’s income,” he said. “What the Government is doing is providing some basic income support for those who aren’t on the social security system, who don’t get any support from the Government.”

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in June showed that the pandemic has heightened the amount of shit young people are put through everyday, including “higher rates of psychological distress, job loss, and educational disruption”.

We’ll be paying the price not only until the pandemic is finally brought under control — we’ll be picking up the pieces in the decades to come too.

You can listen back to the full interview here.