Sunrise host Nat Barr fires up at Barnaby Joyce live on air: ‘Doubled down'

Natalie Barr has grilled Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce over robodebt.

Sunrise's Nat Barr has fired up at Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce in a discussion about the former federal government’s robodebt.

In his Monday morning appearance on Sunrise, the former deputy prime minister claimed the former government had abandoned the robodebt scheme when it became aware it was illegal.

Natalie Barr and Barnaby Joyce on Sunrise
Natalie Barr fired up at Barnaby Joyce over robodebt. Photo: Sunrise

“People have to know – as soon as we knew it was illegal, we stopped the scheme, the Coalition stopped the scheme, but that is not good enough,” he said.

Barr pulled Mr Joyce up on this, quoting royal commissioner Catherine Holmes, who, in her report handed down on Friday, found that the former government had pressed on with the scheme even when they knew it was unlawful.


“Actually (that’s) not what the royal commissioner says,” Barr said. “She said that you pressed on even though the legal advice was unlawful and doubled down.”

The report was damning of former ministers Scott Morrison, Stuart Robert, Alan Tudge and Christian Porter, who all had some oversight over the scheme in its four years. All former ministers bar Mr Morrison have resigned from parliament.

Robodebt discussion on Sunrise
Barnaby Joyce was pressed on whether Scott Morrison should resign. Photo: Sunrise

Pressed on whether Mr Morrison should now follow the lead of the others and resign, Mr Joyce refused to give his opinion on the former prime minister’s future.

“Look, I don’t like telling other politicians to leave politics,” he said. “That’s their decision. They will make that decision and when they decide to make it, they make it.

“It’s a decision that’s made by the person themselves as to what they want to do with their career, not for other people.”

Nat Barr slams PM Anthony Albanese

It comes after Sunrise host Nat Barr got into a heated argument with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese over the country's cost of living crisis last week.

Mr Albanese was on the show to discuss the Reserve Bank's decision to pause interest rate rises when Nat revealed claims children have been forced to steal school lunches in order to eat.

"We hear this morning, Prime Minister, that students are pretending to go to the toilet at school, then they are rummaging through other kids' bags to steal their lunches," she told him. "That’s coinciding with the interest rate rises. This is under your watch. How do you feel about that?"

"Well, I know what it’s like to do it tough, Nat. And for many families out there, they are doing it tough," Mr Albanese. "And that’s why my Government will work each and every day to make a difference."

"A third of Australians have mortgages. And they are being smashed," Nat said.

Nat revealed the Sunrise team has been receiving countless emails from viewers who have been struggling with the cost of living.

"They are barely able to cope. We know that," she added. "But someone is still spending. Retail spending is up."

With NCA Newswire

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