Treasurer Josh Frydenberg challenges Labor on inequality, lays out new economic focus

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has dismissed claims of rising inequality and urged voters to back the government agenda for economic growth, while naming housing affordability and youth unemployment as two priorities in his new job.

In a pivotal dispute with Labor ahead of the next election, the deputy Liberal Party leader cited economic advice to reject the argument that inequality was getting worse across the board, arguing instead that stronger growth was the best way to benefit all families.

“The first thing to say is there are Australians who are doing it tough,” Mr Frydenberg told Fairfax Media in his first policy interview since becoming Treasurer.

“They are the communities in drought stricken areas, the long term unemployed, the families who are struggling to meet higher energy costs.”

When asked if he believed inequality was getting worse, Mr Frydenberg said the struggle of some was not the experience of all.

“The Productivity Commission said exactly the opposite,” he said. “It said we had made strides in recent years in reducing inequality.”

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Source: SMH