The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had had to recently fact-check Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenbeg after he dismissed the IMF’s most recent economic forecast for Australia’s economy as not being up to date.
The IMF numbers predicting a 6.7% contraction for Australia’s economy this year, or around a $AUD130 billion loss, were hand waved away by the treasurer citing the fact that the IMF had not considered the positive impact predicted by the newly announced JobKeeper subsidy program.
"As the IMF a couple of weeks ago were finalising their numbers a couple of weeks ago, it was before the JobKeeper payment was announced," Frydenberg stated on the 16th of April, effectively contradicting the IMF’s statement.
The IMF has responded by issuing a statement on the same day as Frydenberg’s dismissal, insisting that their records were both correct and up to date, stating that their projections had taken into consideration all measures of the Australian stimulus package, including the JobKeeper program.
The IMF’s original projections had even explicitly stated that their estimates were current as of the 7th of April, which was seven days after the measures were made public.
The opposition Finance Minister suggested that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would not come ahead of this looking more competent as a result of this IMF rebuke, suggesting that the treasurer either didn’t properly understand the forecasts, or he knew his claims were false and repeated them to the public despite this.
Tower believes the role of the government is to add to the feelings of certainty and security in times of economic crises, not to muddy the waters with contradictory statements.