Liberals in a parallel universe: Costello

October 11, 2018

Former treasurer Peter Costello (pictured) has launched an excoriating attack on the policy direction of the Liberal leadership warning it was "operating in a parallel universe" by promising voters it would deliver reforms in 10 years' time - echoing criticism of the government by Conservative leader Cory Bernardi.

The Age reports, Mr Costello said the government's inability to produce a coherent economic story meant the party had splintered along the social lines that ultimately contributed to the end of Malcolm Turnbull's prime ministership.

"I was deputy leader of the Liberal Party for 14 years and I didn’t know that we had a right faction and a left faction and, if we did, nobody invited me to join either of them," Mr Costello said.

"One thing you could always unite the Liberal Party around in my time was the economic narrative. You could all sign off on that. The failure to develop the economic narrative that Turnbull said he would meant they defined themselves on social issues," he continued.

Mr Turnbull's inability to unite conservative and liberal elements of the party over issues such as gay marriage and energy ultimately led to him losing the support of key MPs before he was challenged by Peter Dutton and ultimately replaced by Scott Morrison in August.

Mr Costello said the Coalition government's plan to implement income and company tax cuts over 10 years was "very, very weird".

"We can't deliver in this term so we will make you promises on what we will do three terms from now. Its weird. It’s a parallel universe and if anybody believes it you are silly. The only chance of holding a government accountable is something that they will do during their term. I can promise you anything for 2026. The one thing they know is that they are not going to be in government in 2026," Mr Costello said.

Mr Morrison was treasurer when Senator Bernardi called out the Coalition's previous budget as 'Fifty Shades of Labor' and its Education projections as 'starship Conski'. 

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