Wayne Swan has hit out at Tony Abbott’s claims to have “saved Australia”, releasing a letter from Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson praising his role during the global financial crisis.
Fresh from the launch of his book The Good Fight – which plots out his actions as Labor treasurer during the GFC – Mr Swan took aim at the prime minister’s comments to the Nationals federal council meeting on Saturday.
Mr Abbott told his coalition colleagues they had “collectively saved Australia from the worst government in our history”.
But an angry Mr Swan said “Australia needs saving all right”.
“From Tony Abbott and his incompetent and out-of-touch government,” he told AAP.
Disputing coalition claims of an economic emergency, the now Labor backbencher released Dr Parkinson’s 2011 letter congratulating him on winning Euromoney’s Finance Minister of the Year award.
In it, the head of treasury speaks glowingly of the Labor government’s efforts in avoiding a recession, which he describes as a “very significant achievement”.
“In his correspondence, Dr Parkinson notes the role of the federal Labor government in contributing to the resilience of the Australian economy during the global financial crisis,” Mr Swan said.
“His letter also notes that our response was an important contributor to the outperformance of the Australian economy during the downturn.”