Australia’s Treasurer Makes Full National Apology For Poorest People Gaffe

“I am sorry about the interpretation. I am sorry about the words.”

1. Treasurer Joe Hockey took the extraordinary step on Friday afternoon, by making a full, unqualified apology for previously saying “the poorest people don’t drive cars or don’t drive very far.”

It came following two days of growing pressure from some sections of the government who according to Fairfax had grown concerned that Mr Hockey’s comments were hurting the selling of the budget.

There was some on social media who derided the comments (and the accuracy of the claims) with the viral hashtag #JoeHockeyFacts.

He told 2GB Radio the comments were “obviously insensitive” and that “I am sorry about the interpretation. I am sorry about the words.”

2. On Wednesday, My Hockey made the comments to justify un-freezing the tax on petrol, denying it would disproportionately hurt lower-socio economic Australians.

3. By Friday, Leader of the House Christopher Pyne would not support the Treasurer’s position, slapping away the question six times in a Channel 9 interview.

4. And with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott returning to Australia from an overseas trip, he distanced himself from the Treasurer’s comments.

5. It all led to the full apology, which can be found here:

Treasurer Joe Hockey makes angry apology for "obviously insensitive" comments 'poorest don't drive cars' #auspol

— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef)

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Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
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