Big pandemic mistake ScoMo made
Scott Morrison did not act quickly enough to prevent the most serious problems arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, Opposition leader Anthony Albanese says.
In an exclusive interview with NCA NewsWire, Mr Albanese accuses the prime minister of being "complacent".
"If you look at all of the measures that have been put in place, they were put in place later than they should have been," Mr Albanese says.
"We stopped people coming from China but they were still coming in from the US and other countries.
"They were still coming in and not even being subject to a temperature test and spreading it around.
"You had the Ruby Princess with people spreading it around.
"I raised with Scott Morrison very directly the issue of people coming through Sydney airport, Melbourne airport, and not only not having quarantined but not having anything at all - no check, no anything.
"It was more difficult to get into some of the cafes in my electorate (with) temperature testing before you came in. But coming in from overseas? Nothing."
However, it is aged care that Mr Albanese says has suffered the "most drastic failing" of the pandemic.
"It has had the most drastic human consequences," he says.
Figures show two in four residential facilities were failing to meet standards in the three months to March - before the pandemic hit.
"The government's response to that has been almost non-existent. They don't seem to get the gravity of the circumstances," Mr Albanese said.
The claims have been vehemently denied by Mr Morrison, who says issues in aged care were the reason why he called a royal commission.
The Prime Minister, in an address to the parliament last month, outlined the government's handling of the aged care crisis.
"We needed to do more on aged care in response the COVID-19 pandemic and did so in response to the plan that was first launched back in March," he told the House of Representatives.
"On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I'm deeply sorry about that, of course I am."
Mr Albanese says the government's decision to increase the JobSeeker payment - formerly Newstart - before introducing the $1500 JobKeeper payment led to employees being laid off.
He does, however, give credit to Mr Morrison for eventually implementing the $86 billion program.
"It has kept the relationship between employees and employers," Mr Albanese says.
"The fact that the government has dropped some of their anti-union positioning and be prepared to actually talk to unions as well as employers has been a good thing."
The Opposition believes the government should not lower the $1500 fortnightly wage subsidy from September 28 because it will withdraw money from the economy - which this week recorded its worst falls in GDP since the Second World War.
Mr Albanese says the payment should be tapered when the national unemployment rate stops rising.
But he refused to put a figure on it, instead saying the payment should be cut "when the government can say the economy has been turned around".
Labor plans to ramp up its attack on the government's handling of the economy in the lead-up to the October 6 Budget.
Originally published as Big pandemic mistake ScoMo made