Not that we expect Scott Morrison to be the bastion of truth, which is a hell of a concept in and of itself, but the Prime Minister has spoken a pair of outright fibs that are fairly egregious. Even by his dizzyingly low standards.
Fronting media this afternoon to discuss a raft of topics – not least of which was the scrapping of the $10,000 means test for the Federal Government’s lockdown payment scheme, but only if the lockdown extends beyond three weeks – Morrison was grilled on his Government’s absolutely pisspoor handling of Australia’s vaccination rollout. Typically, he got shirty.
Though Morrison bristles at even the barest hint of questioning, today’s tantrum was certainly right up there.
That (rather meagre) payment was begrudgingly unveiled during Melbourne’s lockdown, which formally lasted 14 days but functionally has dragged on for six weeks due to lingering COVID restrictions.
With Sydney’s current lockdown now set to extend beyond that 14-day window, the Federal Government will now scrap the means test and make the payment available to anyone who suffers loss of work because of the continued restrictions, regardless of how much they’ve got in the bank.
Asked why this move was only being made now that Sydney is being affected, Morrison stated “You’ve got to respond to the evidence and the evidence is: there’ll be a need for further support, because this is going longer in Sydney than it went in Melbourne.”
Which is wild in the sense that it’s a lie.
Although this is in no way a pissing contest, the suggestion that Melbourne has merely skated by on a short lockdown is preposterous, particularly when you consider everything that happened last year – a lot of which was conducted with the JobKeeper program significantly scaled back.
Better still, Morrison rejected assertions that the vaccine rollout’s clear and astonishing failures are “on him,” because “there was never a 65% (vaccination) opportunity by this time of year.”
“At no stage, at any time, in the past 12 months, has there been any suggestion we would reach the same level of vaccination as in the UK. The suggestion that somehow there was a vaccination rate that would have somehow put us in a different situation than we are right now is simply not true,” he reckons.
Which is also, get this, a big fucking lie.
The assertion that there was “never a 65% opportunity by this time of year” is theoretically accurate in the sense that no one specified that exact amount for a July target.
It’s just that, per the Prime Minister’s original targets that he set out in January, we probably would be well past that point by now.
How good is, and I cannot stress this enough, Australia.