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Prime Minister Julia Gillard and talkback radio host Alan Jones had a fiery clash this morning over the government's announcement of a new carbon tax policy, with the shock jock calling the leader "Ju-liar".
Jones accused Ms Gillard of being "untruthful" and said she promised during last year's election campaign that there would be no carbon tax.
"Do you understand, Julia, that you are the issue today, because there are people now saying your name is not Julia but Ju-liar and they are saying that we've got a liar running the country," he said on his 2GB radio show.
"Do you accept the fact that you've stolen an election with a false promise?"
Ms Gillard strongly defended the tax, emphasising that it was supported by business and would ensure Australians had the jobs of the future.
"We are very big emitters of carbon pollution per head of population, one of the biggest emitters in the world," she said.
"That means if we don't change as the world moves, we could get stuck with an old-fashioned high carbon-pollution economy and not have the jobs of the future. I am not, Alan, going to put the nation in that position."
Jones repeatedly brought up Ms Gillard's election campaign statements, and the pair engaged in a fiery debate on-air.
Gillard: Pricing carbon is the right thing to do and I said that during the election campaign.
Jones: No you did not.
Gillard: Yes I did, Alan.
Jones: Julia you gave a policy ...
Gillard: Get all of the statements out Alan, you will see during the election campaign ...
Jones: Julia, people ...
Gillard: I said climate change is real. I said we needed to address it, that pricing carbon was the most efficient way to do it, that is what happened during the election campaign.
Jones: PM, this is untruthful.
Gillard: Check my statements.
Jones: You launched the ALP campaign ... 5400 words in that speech to the ALP faithful when you launched the campaign. You did not mention carbon tax and you had one sentence on climate change ...
Gillard: Alan, Alan, are you suggesting in a 35-day campaign, the only speech I ever made, the only statement that ever came out of my mouth was on the day of the ALP campaign launch? How ridiculous, Alan, and how calculated to mislead your listeners.
Ms Gillard continued to challenge Jones, responding to his accusations that she backflipped on cancelling Greens-supported programs to accommodate the flood levy tax by saying that he was "trying to deceive".
"Alan, what you've just said to your listeners is completely untrue. Either you misunderstand what happened or you are trying to deceive.
"Alan, are you going to let me give people the truth or are you going to insist on your lies?
"You are trying to deceive your listeners with the wrong figure. That is the wrong thing to do, Alan, you shouldn't treat your listeners like that ... what a load of nonsense."
The interview had started poorly, with the Prime Minister arriving about 10 minutes late for her 7.10am slot.
"Ten past 7 is 10 past 7 isn't it?" Jones said to Ms Gillard, adding that his producers had to cancel another interview to accommodate her presence on his program.
"I can understand you may not want to come on or you can't come on but surely courtesy has to be part of the way in which the public are treated," he said.
Ms Gillard fired back, saying she was late in arriving at the radio station's Canberra studio as she had another interview.
"Well Alan, I am happy to apologise to you for being late. I am now here. If you have a question in the nation's interest, then please feel free to put it."