Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today the State Government would have to do better than sending out Jay Weatherill to claim incorrectly that there was a ‘gaffe’ in the Liberal Party costings for its ground-breaking concessions policy.
This new utilities allowance is based on similar Commonwealth payments, with similar eligibility rules. The Federal Government has provided the following figures for December 2005/January 2006 to indicate the number of recipients of Commonwealth payments;
Commonwealth provided figures (Dec 05 / Jan 06)
Self funded retirees receiving seniors concession allowance (Row 1)
Single Utilities Allowance recipients (Row 2)
Partnered Utilities Allowance recipients (Row 3)
Total (Row 4)
24,045 $200 $4,809,000
88,200 $100 $8,820,000
115,887 $50 ($100 per couple) $5,794,350
Mr Weatherill’s embarrassing performance today involved him lamely claiming a ‘gaffe’ but then being unable under media questioning to provide detailed costing rebuttal.
The first ‘own goal’ for the campaign clearly rests with the Government and poor old Jay Weatherill.
Perhaps next time the Minister should be a bit smarter and politely refuse when the Government spin doctors next tell him to claim a ‘gaffe’ in the Oppositions policy.