1 September 2009
TREASURER MUST APOLOGISE
Senator Mitch Fifield, the Coalition’s spokesman for Disabilities, has called on Treasurer Wayne Swan to apologise for his insensitive comments reflecting on people with a disability.
“Mr Swan, in referring to Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, said that he must be ‘deaf, dumb and blind’ because he questioned the effectiveness of the Government’s stimulus spending. In doing so, Mr Swan has insulted many Australians with a disability,” Senator Fifield said.
“I’m sure Mr Swan had no intention of disparaging people with a disability, and that his comments were just an unfortunate slip.
“But the implication that people who are blind, deaf or cannot speak are in some way less intelligent or less aware of contemporary political events is just wrong.
“All public figures are guilty on occasion of saying things that would have been better not said. But when this happens, it is important to recognise it and apologise.
“Australians with a disability are just as active and engaged in political affairs as other Australians, and Mr Swan should apologise for his remarks,” said Senator Fifield.