Prime Minister Scott Morrison and fellow Coalition MPs have been slammed by high-profile Australians for repeatedly disrespecting Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese during his budget speech.
Mr Albanese delivered his reply to the federal budget on Thursday night, outlining a raft of ALP policies, including childcare reform.
But during his speech, attention soon turned to the behaviour of his political rivals.
Almost immediately, a string of well known Aussies as well as everyday people began sharing screenshots of politicians visibly ignoring the Labor leader as he spoke.
Mr Morrison, for example, turned away from Mr Albanese and repeatedly fiddled with his phone and even closed his eyes during the speech.
Well-known Australian barrister, human rights and refugee advocate and author Julian Burnside was one of many to lash the PM’s antics, labelling him a “disgrace”.
Journalist Troy Bramston also called out the behaviour, sharing a photo which showed that the “only government MP looking at Albanese is Frydenberg”, while author, presenter and political commentator Jamila Rizvi said “Frydenberg is all eyes and ears on Albo but most of the frontbench (including the PM) are on their phones.”
Australian writer and social commentator Van Badham said Scott Morrison “conspicuously posing like a petulant sook for the #budgetreply is an ugly look for Australian politics” while Deputy Opposition Leader of the Legislative Council Penny Sharpe posted that “the look on Scott Morrison’s face is just awful”.
“Courtesy & respect cost nothing yet are obviously too expensive for the PM,” she wrote.
Many ordinary Aussies also weighed in, describing the conduct as “rude” and “disrespectful”.
In his budget reply speech, Mr Albanese pledged to cover the cost of up to 90 per cent of the cost of childcare for low income families, which could leave some parents with out-of-pocket costs as little as $10 a day.
The ALP leader also announced plans for a huge boost to apprenticeships, jobs and bringing down power prices with a big investment in the nation’s electricity network.
The speech came hot on the heels of the 2020-21 budget which was handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday night, with tax cuts, infrastructure spending and a new scheme to encourage the hiring of young job seekers at the forefront.