Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh has come under fire from his political opponents for his less-than-savoury take on the Australian economy.
Liberal MP Tim Wilson said in a statement to The Australian, Mr Leigh was ‘bagging Australia’s economy’ in the United States.
‘Dr Andrew Leigh can wax lyrical in the corridors of universities, but when he starts bagging Australia’s economy in newspapers of the world’s biggest capital market he’s putting partisan politics ahead of investment that will create jobs.’
Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh (pictured) has come under fire from his political opponents for his less-than-savoury take on the Australian economy
Liberal’s Tim Wilson and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) hit back against 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 not only outpaced American figures, but also the average in the developed world.
‘While major economies like those of Germany and the United States have unemployment rates below 4 percent, Australia’s has been stuck around 5 and a half percent,’ Mr Leigh said.
‘This country’s so-called miracle economy isn’t looking so miraculous.’
Mr Wilson said the labour frontbencher should be given his marching orders.
‘This is a test of leadership for Bill Shorten — will he stand by job creation and sack Andrew Leigh as a Shadow Minister for compromising our economic interests?’
Mr Wilson argued downplaying Australia’s economic strength in the United States would deter much-needed investment.
Although the opinion piece in the American newspaper was published last month, it has only just gained attention after Mr Leigh tweeted it in response to a recent edition of The Economist.
The front cover of the political paper portrayed a strong Australian economy.
‘I’d be a tad more modest about our economic performance,’ Mr Leigh tweeted.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg jumped onto Twitter to hit back against Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh
‘Unemployment has recently been above the OECD average, real wages have flatlined for at least 5 years, and the economy lacks the diversity of many advanced nations. There’s a lot to do.’
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hit back on the social media site.
‘[Mr Leigh] resorts to a pathetic attack on his own country… Labor should take pride in Aust[ralia’s] achievements & leave the self loathing to closed meetings of its socialist collective.
‘Shorten should rein in Leigh.’
Mr Leigh retaliated and said the country should not pull the wool over its eyes. He said Mr Wilson reminded him ‘of Jack Nicholson from a Few Good Men, he just thinks that we can’t handle the truth, that the true problems in the Australian economy should be swept under the carpet.’
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