11 Quotes That Give An Insight Into The Mind Of Australia's Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey

Joe Hockey is one of Australia’s most battle-hardened politicians. A senior minister in the Howard government, Hockey now plays a critical role as political custodian of the Australian Treasury – your tax dollars – and the arbiter of government spending decisions.

He’s known today for his carriage of the federal government’s embattled Budget. But through his career Hockey has shared some fascinating views on everything from economics, to Australia’s relationship with the US, family values, and the future of Australia.

Here are some of his more revealing quotes.

On the taxation of global companies

You should pay tax in the country where you've earned a profit. That's not just an essential tax principle, it is rational and fair.

In a statement to Parliament on the upcoming G20 global finance ministers and central bank governors meeting on September 4, 2014

On the 2014 federal budget

You can't build budgets on what is popular or not.

In an interview with Patrick Condren on 4BC Mornings on May 19, 2014.

On the potential of the Australian economy

Mining and resources represent about 10 per cent of our economy but two per cent of our employment. So now we need to fire up the rest of the economy.

In his 2014 budget speech to parliament on May 13, 2014.

On parental leave payments

Staying at home should be a parent's choice but there are limits on how much support the taxpayer can give.

In his 2014 budget speech to parliament on May 13, 2014.

On the taper

The world can no longer rely on methadone every day. Sooner or later we need to wean ourselves off and that’s what tapering is about... Australia is a very good friend of the US. We call each other mates and we are mates but a good mate calls it as they see it. It is important for the U.S. Congress to pass the IMF reforms that deliver the reform agenda because it sends a message to the world that the U.S. is a very active and engaged global citizen.

In a Canberra interview on February 12, 2014.

On fuel expenditure and vehicle ownership

They say you've got to have wealthier people or middle-income people pay more. Well, change to the fuel excise does exactly that. The poorest people either don't have cars or actually don't drive very far in many cases. But, they are opposing what is meant to be, according to the Treasury, a progressive tax.

In an interview with the ABC on August 12, 2014.

On the GP co-payment

Some people are screaming about a $7 co-payment. One packet of cigarettes costs $22. That gives you three visits to the doctor. You can spend just over $3 on a middy of beer so that’s two middies of beer to go to the doctor.

In an interview with the ABC’s AM program on May 15, 2014.

On asylum seekers coming to Australia

I will never ever support a people swap where you can send a 13-year-old child unaccompanied to a country without supervision. Never. It’ll be over my dead body.

In an interview with the ABC in June 2012.

On The Age of Entitlement

The fiscal impact of popular programs must be brought to account no matter what the political values of the government are or how popular a spending program may be. Let me put it to you this way: The Age of Entitlement is over. We should not take this as cause for despair. It is our market based economies which have forced this change on unwilling participants.

In a speech to the Institute of economic affairs in London on April 17, 2012.

On leaving his children in a good financial position

I look at my children and I say there is no way on God’s earth I am going to leave you with a debt, the money of which was used to fund my lifestyle.

In a speech to the National Press Club on May 14, 2014.

On the housing bubble

Australia is a long way from a housing bubble... Many Australians are heading toward personal superannuation that in value exceeds the equity they in their house and that’s part of the balance in the equation.

A lot of Australians put a lot of new capital into their homes – renovate their homes, upgrade their homes – and we have the largest homes on average perhaps in the Western World, and the world more generally in size... It’s a very different asset class in Australia than in other jurisdictions.

In an interview with CNBC in New York on October 15, 2013.

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