Politics

Anthony Albanese unable to name unemployment rate, cash rate, former PM John Howard says ‘so what?’


Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has had his first stumble of the official 2022 election campaign, unable to name either the unemployment rate or the RBA cash rate.
The Coalition was quick to jump on the stumble but Mr Albanese found a surprise ally in former Liberal prime minister John Howard.

Asked at a press conference today, Mr Albanese didn’t know the cash rate and guessed unemployment was at 5.4 per cent.

He apologised and said “I’m not sure what it is” before Labor finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher correctly answered the question.

The RBA cash rate is at 0.1 per cent while unemployment sits at four per cent.

Mr Albanese later “fessed up”, saying he was “only human” and that when he made a mistake he owned up to it.

Mr Howard, back on the campaign trail almost 15 years after he left office, brushed off the awkward moment, asking if it was a “serious question”.

“Anthony Albanese didn’t know the unemployment (rate),” he said.

Former prime minister John Howard asked ‘so what?’ when asked about Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese not knowing the unemployment rate, on Monday, April 11, 2022, the first full day of the federal election campaign. (9News)
Mr Howard guessed the rate had a “three” in front of it before Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt, who the former PM was campaigning for, said the rate was falling, according to Nine newspapers.

Mr Howard was caught out in an A Current Affair interview in 2007, saying the rate was 6.25 per cent when it was actually 6.5 per cent.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison had no such problems when asked the same questions at his own press conference, which took place after Mr Albanese’s.

“Well 0.1 per cent is the cash rate, has been for some time,” Mr Morrison said.

“The unemployment rate, I’m happy to say is 4 per cent, falling to a 50-year low.”

Hip-pocket questions have led to stumbles for both candidates, with Mr Morrison in February caught on the hop after being unable to name the price of a loaf of bread or a litre of petrol.



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