Karl Stefanovic ridicules minister ahead of Budget: 'Drunken sailors'

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·News Reporter
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The Morrison government was handed a brutal reality check ahead of Tuesday's Federal Budget, being called out by Today show host Karl Stefanovic who criticised the government's spending ahead of the election.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham appeared on the Nine network's breakfast show on Tuesday to detail the government's economic approach, but a comment he made was ridiculed by the show host.

Senator Birmingham said Australians had experienced "lower levels of government spending", but Mr Stefanovic was quick to shut down such claims.

Senator Birmingham appeared on the Today show ahead of Tuesday's budget. Source: Nine
Senator Birmingham appeared on the Today show ahead of Tuesday's budget. Source: Nine

"Sorry, where do you get lower levels of spending from?" Stefanovic hit back.

"You’re spending like drunken sailors before this election."

But Senator Birmingham remained confident there had been a "nominal reduction" in the amount of spending, News.com.au reports.

"We've been very careful to make sure that we actually squirrelled away and saved some of the dividends of the stronger economy," he reportedly told Nine.

Budget to focus on 'cost-of-living pressures'

Senator Birmingham's appearance on the Today show comes ahead of the budget reveal which will be announced at 7pm on Tuesday.

While the exact details aren't yet known, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it would be focused on easing cost-of-living pressures — an issue taking hold around the world.

The war in Ukraine, the impact of the pandemic and inflation rising rapidly has taken a toll on Australians and their finances, and it is expected the government will spend up to $2.5bn to address these concerns.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at a television interview following the release of the Australian National Accounts in Canberra, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the budget would be focused on easing cost-of-living pressures. Source: AAP

The federal government will announce a one-off cash payment of $250 to pensioners and low-income earners in Tuesday's Budget.

The cash boost is part of the Government’s attempt to offset the rising cost of living, with many Aussies feeling the pinch in the grocery store and at the petrol pump.

Pressure at the fuel pump could be eased slightly as well if the government follows through on an expected temporary slash to the fuel excise.

But Finance Minister Simon Birmingham remained tight-lipped about exactly how much the excise would be cut.

Senator Birmingham said these measures were designed to "support Australians through these temporary shocks," he reportedly told the ABC.

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