Malcolm Turnbull Admits That Politicians Lie At Election Time

In other news, sky blue, water wet, Pope a Catholic.

28/06/2016 1:22 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
Fairfax Media
Malcolm Turnbull may live to regret his remarks.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has come out and said what most Australians only joke about -- that politicians lie.

"What political parties say they will support and oppose at one time is not necessarily ultimately what they will do," Turnbull said at a press conference in Banyo, Queensland on Tuesday.

Bold and brave words from a man seeking re-election with a message that his team is more stable, trustworthy and responsible than the opposition.

Let's back up a bit. Turnbull was being peppered with questions by journalists on the campaign trail. At one point, he criticised Labor's policies and their plan to pay for those policies.

"The Labor Party is saying that they will run higher debt and higher deficits over each of the four years than us and then in the fifth year, miraculously, like Houdini, they will spring out of that hole they have dug for themselves, that budget black hole, they'll spring back into balance. Well, you really would have to believe in fairytales to believe that," the PM said.

Soon after, he was asked how intended to keep his own election promises, and whether it was fair to criticise Labor's policies as "fairytales".

In response, Turnbull gave an answer that was instantly sprung upon by Bill Shorten and Labor.

"The other point I would make is that what political parties say they will support and oppose at one time is not necessarily ultimately what they will do," the PM said.

"You have seen the Labor Party has opposed many measures of ours at which they have subsequently supported or subsequently changed their position on. The best-known of those is obviously the School Kids Bonus, which they made an iconic issue and launched petitions and campaigns and said they were going to fight all the way to election day to restore it and then did a very quick back flip on that."

"So I think the only way you can proceed as a Government is to set out your policies, both revenue and expenditure in your Budget, which we have done. That has brought together our economic plan and this is one of the great virtues of our economic plan, is that it is all there. There is a comprehensive document that sets it all out. It's called the Budget."

Labor, unsurprisingly, jumped all over it. Aside from the hastily-assembled attack ad they posted to Twitter (above), Shorten fortuitously happened to be speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra, and criticised Turnbull's choice of words while backing in his own team's ability to deliver on their promises.

"Today, Malcolm Turnbull's mask finally slipped. It will go down as the defining moment in this campaign. The gaffe that marked the end of the Prime Minister's credibility. He said, 'what political parties say they will support and oppose at one time is not necessarily what they will do'," Shorten said.

"Tony Abbott famously told us, "Don't listen to what I say, get it in writing." Mr Turnbull simply said, 'Don't bother, it's a lie'."

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