Some senior ministers in the Morrison Government are privately expressing concern about the fitness for office of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Their misgivings follow the upbeat analysis Mr Frydenberg gave on disappointing economic growth figures released this week.
“The GDP stats were shockers,” one senior minister told The Bug on condition of anonymity.
“But when Josh briefed Cabinet (main picture) he took an unusual position — and I mean that literally — which allowed him to give a very upbeat PowerPoint presentation on the figures and the overall trend in the GDP trajectory.
“He then used other PowerPoint slides to show trend lines for a range of major economic indicators.
“For each of them he gave a glowing commentary about their recent performance and forecasts over coming months and years.
“It seemed to some of us that he holds no concerns about any of the key indicators and where they and the whole national economy might be heading.
“To be frank, before during and after the election we said we are better economic managers than Labor when the facts show the economy is tanking and we’ve got no plan to address it.
“Unfortunately, at the cabinet briefing the only one who seemed to support Josh’s view was the Prime Minister himself.
“He didn’t seem to see in the graphs what the rest of us saw and didn’t offer any detailed commentary on the Treasurer’s overly optimistic presentation.
“He thanked Josh for his ‘remarkable stewardship’ of the national economy, but then said there was someone else who needed to be thanked.
“Then he closed his eyes and raised his arm with his palm held skyward and started muttering.
“At first I thought he was rattling off a long list of ABS acronyms, but he was actually speaking in tongues. Just mouthing what sounded like gibberish.
“It was then the rest of us around the cabinet table quietly departed and left Josh hanging with the PM,” the minister said.