Sunrise presenter Natalie Barr has apologised for referring to “dole bludgers” early this morning.
“New figures have been released showing just how many dole bludgers are trying to take advantage of the welfare system,” she said in an introduction to the story.
The issue, which drew upon a News Corp “Jobless Bludgers” article, was revisited later in the programme, but with the wording then excised from editorial.
It formed part of a Hot Topics discussion which questioned the timing of the figures being released and canvassing political motivations.
Justin Smith from 2GB said, “They sent out these figures in hopes we start to call people dole bludger is and look at them and tell them what terrible people they are. I think this is a disgraceful tactic from Michaelia Cash.”
WA Senator Michaelia Cash, interviewed later, added, “Many people would believe we are a nation of dole bludgers, only 2% who have received financial penalties are repeat offenders.”
With Sunrise drawing criticism on social media, Barr acknowledged the error on Twitter: “This was badly phrased and later corrected. I apologise.”