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G20 a centre-left "movement" - Hockey

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CANBERRA, Sept 9 AAP

September 09 2009, 6:44PM

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has attacked the G20 group of developed nations and questioned the economic policy of US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Hockey labelled the G20, which has been working on co-ordinated stimulus to combat the impact of the global financial crisis, "a centre-left movement" which wanted to put government at the centre of people's lives.

"I am strongly opposed to that," Mr Hockey told Sky News on Wednesday.

"Liberals are strongly opposed to the government being the centre of everyone's lives."

Mr Hockey said he wouldn't take any economics lessons from Mr Brown and said he believed Americans were changing their opinion "at a rapid rate" on Mr Obama.

"I can't claim to be an expert on the US economy, but what I do know is that the American people are starting, starting, to question Barack Obama's management of the US economy," Mr Hockey said.

A spokesman for Treasurer Wayne Swan, who has just returned from a meeting of G20 finance ministers in London, said it was worrying Mr Hockey "has now been reduced to thought-bubbles about left-wing conspiracies in the G20".

"Mr Hockey isn't known for his attention to detail, but perhaps he should explain his left-wing conspiracy to President Sarkozy, Prime Minister Berlusconi, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Harper," the spokesman said, referring to leaders on the right.

"Or perhaps he should spend more time working out some credible alternative economic policies to support Australian jobs during the global recession."