Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has been absolutely roasted by the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas for the government’s recent $60 billion JobKeeper mistake.

In case you missed it, the Australian Government today announced that the estimated cost of the JobKeeper scheme is actually $60 billion less than first expected after what could’ve been an expensive accounting error.

Initially, the Treasury and the ATO believed a whopping 6.5 million Australians would be eligible for the JobKeeper payment amid the coronavirus pandemic. But in actual reality, the figure is much closer to 3.5 million.

Frydenberg appeared on ABC on Friday afternoon to clear the whole debacle up and look, he didn’t do a great job of it.

“Well, let’s be very clear what has occurred here. Treasury initially forecast around 6.5 million people to be covered by the JobKeeper program. But because the economy did not deteriorate by as much as they initially thought, the take-up for this demand-driven program has been less. So 3.5 million people, with the 1.6 million people in the JobKeeper program – we are now providing taxpayer support to over 5 million Australian workers.”

But if you thought Josh Frydenberg was going to own his mistake, think again because the Australian Treasurer is convinced this is actually GOOD news.

“What has occurred is good news for taxpayers,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday. “No money was sent out that wasn’t meant to be sent out.”

When asked if he was willing to take responsibility for the “massive mistake” he has made as Treasurer, Frydenberg wasn’t keen to blame anyone specifically, especially if that specific person is him.

“The ATO and the Treasury have made it clear what has occurred here. It was an unintentional – and this was an unintentional reporting error by about 1,000 businesses,” he said.

“Well, this is a very uncertain time. I’m not blaming Treasury and I’m not blaming the ATO. What I’m saying is that no underpayments were made, no overpayments were made. This is a massive program with a revised costing of $70 billion.”

Frydenberg then reiterated his earlier statement that this huge boo-boo on his part is actually a good thing for tax payers after being repeatedly asked if he was trying to assert that the billion dollar error was a positive. But the roast didn’t stop there, with Karvelas then asking the question we’d all like to know:

“How can Australians trust Treasury, and you, with respect, Treasurer, if you can get the numbers that wrong?”

Again refusing to take any accountability for the error that could’ve cost tax payers a whopping $60 billion, Frydenberg asserted that the “very detailed explanation” makes up for the huge mistake. So basically, we should all still trust him and pretend nothing happened.

Well, again, I think Treasury have provided a very detailed explanation for that. There was no underpayments, there were no overpayments, Patricia. What has occurred here is a revision in the number of people that are covered by this program.”

But while Frydenberg himself seems to think it’s no harm, no foul, opposition leader Anthony Albanese reckons the whole situation is pretty embarrassing for the government.

“Well, this is humiliating for the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, and for the Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann,” Albo said in a follow-up interview.

Sometimes you win, sometimes your accounting error nearly costs the government $60 billion. It’s no biggie.