Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has gone on a Twitter rampage against reports his government is considering slashing social security payments, including welfare for aged pensioners, in the May budget.
NewsCorp Australia reports on Sunday that a leaked government document shows secret plans that would see those on welfare stripped of their their concession cards and up to $49.10 a fortnight.
The leaked document also reveals the federal government has considered dumping all welfare payments below $20.02 a fortnight, according to NewsCorp.
The Turnbull government wants to slash welfare payments by scrapping concession cards for welfare recipients https://t.co/EEK5cM1nP5— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) March 19, 2017
The plan, the report claims, would specifically target aged pensioners, some of whom are able to structure their finances so that they receive as little as $1 every fortnight, making them eligible for concession cards.
In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Turnbull rubbished the story, labelling it false and calling attention to the journalist who wrote it.
A report today that the government is cutting the aged pension is false and we outright reject it.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 19, 2017
I can assure all aged pensioners the measure reported will NOT be in the Budget.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 19, 2017
We assured the journalist too, but she insisted on writing the story.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 19, 2017
And sadly, I can also assure you that you can always rely on Bill Shorten to lie.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 19, 2017
Turnbull's Twitter attack on the story is being likened by some online to the behaviour of US President Donald Trump who is known for his ferocious online tirades against media outlets who criticise him.
One Twitter user accused the PM of "pulling a Donald Trump" by taking to the social media platform to complain about a news story.
The Prime Minister's office has been sought for comment on the tweets.
Malcolm Turnbull has pulled a Donald Trump - taking to Twitter to complain about a news story. pic.twitter.com/O4Wvm9N83F— Karen Sweeney (@karenlsweeney) March 19, 2017
@TurnbullMalcolm Leave the Trumpism for Trump, please.— WritingMum (@WritingMum) March 19, 2017
@TurnbullMalcolm c'mon bro. Don't go full Donald.— Matt Potter (@mjpotts4) March 19, 2017
Trump, a prolific tweeter, has at times come under fire for the way he uses the social media app. In one high profile instance in 2016, Trump's account retweeted tweets critiquing a CNN reporter and backing allegations that voter fraud in favour of Hillary Clinton took place during the presidential election.
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