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Liberal Peter Dutton Blasts New Anthony Albanese Labor Government Over Migration, Energy, Inflation

Peter Dutton rejected the new Labor government just four weeks after it took office and before a single session of Parliament was held.

In a sign that his criticism will be relentless over the next three years, the opposition leader said Anthony Albanian’s policies will drive higher prices in stores, encourage illegal immigration and fail to cut energy bills as promised.

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra on Thursday, Mr Dutton said Labour’s push to raise wages will fuel further price hikes and increase unemployment.

Mr Albanese (left) has welcomed a Sri Lankan family battling deportation to the Queensland town of Biloela, where they settled

Mr Albanese called for a minimum wage increase in line with inflation of 5.1 percent before the Fair Work Commission approved a 5.2 percent increase – and he also wants to reform workplace legislation to raise wages .

But with inflation expected to hit seven percent in the June quarter, Mr Dutton has warned that Labor policies could hurt the economy.

“Mr Albanian made a point during the campaign, an election promise he made, that there will be a real wage increase,” he said.

“So Mr. Albanese has to explain how that is possible in a high inflation environment.”

He also warned that higher Labor spending would fuel inflation. The ALP pledged to spend an additional $7.4 billion over the next four years on Medicare, childcare and other areas compared to the coalition.

“Right now if you have a government that is fueling inflation, I am sad to say that interest rates will be higher because inflation will be higher if the government makes decisions to spend more money,” he said.

“It means major difficulties for families and businesses across the country.

“If we say it will be harder under Labour, it will get harder under Labor if they make these decisions that are not in the best interest of our country.”

Peter Dutton (pictured today with former Prime Minister John Howard) has criticized the new Labor government just four weeks after taking office

Workplace Secretary Tony Burke said on Wednesday that Labor does not believe that wage increases should be automatically linked to inflation.

“We never said or suggested that there would be an ongoing alignment with wherever inflation was,” he said.

Dutton, who was elected unopposed Liberal leader after Scott Morrison’s defeat, also criticized Labor for illegal immigration.

Since the election, four illegal boats have arrived from Sri Lanka as people smugglers test the determination of the new government.

Arrivals have been returned and Mr Albanian insists he will continue to do so.

But Mr Dutton accused Labor of abandoning Operation Sovereign Borders, the military operation set up to stop the boats under Tony Abbott, by abolishing temporary protection visas, one of its three main pillars.

“Boats coming from Sri Lanka, that’s their own make,” he said.

“That’s because they reacted in a stupid way.”

The opposition leader also targeted energy minister Chris Bowen, calling him a “bad minister.”

Food prices are rising with an inflation rate of 5.1 percent in the March quarter of this year

Mr Bowen went through an energy crisis during his first few weeks on the job.

Blackouts have been narrowly avoided amid a “perfect storm” of coal plant shutdowns, a cold winter and rising global gas prices.

Last week, the electricity market operator made the historic decision to suspend the market so that it could direct the power to the right places.

Mr Dutton claimed that former Energy Secretary Angus Taylor also faced similar problems but was able to avoid disaster.

“The same problems existed for Angus Taylor. He was able to ignore the excesses of the companies and the shortcomings of the regulators when they should have acted.

“Chris Bowen didn’t and that’s why we’re in this position.”

Mr Dutton also said he does not believe Labour’s claim that power prices will be lower by 2025 – in just three years – by plugging more renewables into the grid.

“I don’t know how they’re going to do that,” he said.

“Remember, Labor was last in power, electricity prices went up 100 percent… and they keep rising now that Labor is back in power.”

Mr Dutton warned that if energy prices get too high, Australian manufacturers will be forced abroad, which will ‘costs Australia jobs’.

Both Mr Bowen and Mr Albanese have maintained that it is absurd for Mr Dutton to blame them for the energy crisis less than a month after the election.

They blame the coalition for not investing in renewable energy in the past nine years.

Mr Dutton said he does not believe Labour’s claim that power prices will be lower by 2025 – in just three years – by plugging more renewable energy into the grid

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