Barnaby Joyce slams Anthony Albanese for cost-of-living cabinet meeting

Barnaby Joyce has criticised Labor’s snap cost-of-living meeting as a political “Academy Award” as federal MPs move to defend their plans to usher in urgent price relief.

Anthony Albanese summoned his cabinet colleagues to Canberra two weeks before parliament returns to discuss ways to provide cost of living relief to struggling Australians. While it’s unknown what exactly will emerge from Wednesday’s meeting, it’s understood that Labor MPs and Senators will brainstorm ways to assist households without stoking high inflation.

Ahead of the gathering, the Coalition hit out at the Prime Minister with Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce firing the opening shots at Labor’s last minute powwow.

“This is not about the cost of living issue. It is about a political Academy Award issue when he can have the cameras rolling as they walk in,” Mr Joyce said on Monday.

“For over half a million of your money. We are back there in any case in about two weeks.”

According to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over the past 12 months the price of food has risen by 8 per cent in Australia with the cost of electricity skyrocketing to over 15 per cent – the highest annual rise since 2013.

The prime minister kicked off the new year by vowing to make cost-of-living front and centre of his government’s agenda.

The move comes off the back of months of backlash from the opposition who have repeatedly accused Mr Albanese of dragging his feet on the issue.

Emergency Services Minister Murray Watt said Labor has already legislated to lower costs for childcare, medicine and utility bills and said living costs would be the number one issue that his government dealt with this year.

“I’ve seen the opposition criticising the fact that we’re getting back together. These people just can’t ever get their story straight on the one hand, they spend months criticising us, not doing enough about cost of living relief, even though they voted against everything we’ve done to provide that relief,” Senator Watt said.

“And now they don’t want us to actually deal with cost of living relief. At some point, they’ve got to work out whether they’re just going to remain negative and snipe from the sidelines or actually come up with some solution.”

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