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Angus Taylor slammed for 'deeply embarrassing' Vegemite claim in parliament

The shadow treasurer was trying to lay blame on the prime minister when he made the blunder.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor has been blasted as "deeply embarrassing" following a public slip-up while ironically trying to trip up the prime minister.

On Tuesday during Question Time in the House of Representatives, Mr Taylor classified yearly food inflation figures as monthly when posing a question to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

"In the last month alone, the price of Vegemite has increased by 8 per cent, peanut butter by 9 per cent, yoghurt by 12 per cent," he claimed. "Having promised to take responsibility, will the prime minister apologise to Australians for failing to take pressure off Australians meaning Australians will pay more at the checkout?”

A photo of the Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor.  A photo of the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor has been criticised for confusing yearly food inflation data as monthly in parliament on Tuesday during Question Time. Source: Sky News Australia (Sky News Australia)

To make matters worse, Mr Taylor repeats himself later without correcting his error. Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell called the blunder "deeply embarrassing".

"How could Vegemite go up 8 per cent month on month?" he said on the Afternoon Agenda program. “It's not that hard a job Shadow Treasurer, you've got bad economic conditions at the moment, you've got the opportunity in front of you to attack the government.”

"Angus 'Vegemite' Taylor"

Federal Member for Bruce, Julian Hill, among others, took to social media to also criticise the shadow treasurer, dubbing him "Angus 'Vegemite' Taylor". "Oh dear me… this guy wants to be the Treasurer of Australia," he said on Twitter.

Prime Minister compares Australia's food prices with other countries

Starting his response by slamming the shadow minister as "lightweight but dense," Mr Albanese went on to say "Australia's performance has been better" with food inflation than the other G7 countries, and that under the Morrison government, the country saw its "largest quarterly rise [in the Consumer Price Index] this century".

"In the 12 months to march quarter 2023... Canada 10.5, France 15.6, Germany 20.4. Italy 13, UK 18.1, United States 9.9," Mr Albanese lists. "Every single one of those countries has higher food inflation."

Yahoo News has reached out to Angus Taylor's office for comment.

While price rises for food and non-alcoholic beverages remain high, they have gone down slightly from 8.1 per cent annually in March to 7.9 percent in April, according to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

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