Nick Xenophon has fired back at News Corp publications, taking a red marker to The Australian‘s front page and labelling a Daily Telegraph story “silly news”.
Senator Xenophon wrote “FAKE” across The Australian front page – which used modelling to show families could be $2700 worse off because of his team’s opposition to welfare cuts – and turned the table on the Daily Telegraph‘s “Nick Off” headline to poke fun at the paper’s journalism.
“This is more in the realm of silly news … I love your paper, but in this case you can ‘Nick Off’,” he told reporters at Parliament House on Thursday.
— Stephanie Anderson (@stephanieando) February 15, 2017
Senator Xenophon said claiming his alternative to welfare cuts – raising the Medicare levy – would cost all Australian families was just plain wrong.
The modelling showed that even a 1 percentage point hike in the 2 per cent levy would cost average families more than proposed cuts to family supplements.
The Daily Telegraph‘s labelling of Adelaide as a “small-town” and an “economic basket case” was not helping the debate around the government’s budget savings measures, Senator Xenophon said.
“Abusing South Australia is not going to work with me … this is about making the right decision in the national interest.”
In the past two days, the senator has met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Social Services Minister Christian Porter as negotiations continue over a government omnibus bill that ties an overhaul of the childcare fee subsidies with a raft of welfare cuts.
“What the government was seeking to do was just too deep, too unfair and too harmful to too many families,” he said.