Beginning his speech at the National Press Club today, federal treasurer Joe Hockey has just confessed there has been another woman in his life.
But it’s not a sinister admission. Hockey said the other woman, who is a 72-year-old mother of four from the Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin has been the inspiration for his first budget.
Hockey admitted he had been taking budget advice from the self-funded retiree who has run a small business and now grows veggies in her garden.
Hockey said she told him: “I had to live within my means for all my life, I want you to do the same”, adding Margaret also told him to “be true to yourself, put in place the things that are going to grow the nation because I am ready to do more”.
“As Margaret said, ‘you never get anywhere without hard work’,” Hockey said.
“You can kick the can down the road but sooner or later someone is going to have to pick up the bill.”
He said Australians of all ages “have an obligation now to shape the future”.
One of the criticisms of the budget is that while it is good on the macro-economic policy and the return to surplus, it is tough on actual people – families, young people, pensioners and others – who will see far-reaching cuts in government benefits.
Hockey spoke about Margaret in an attempt to show how individuals will relate to the budget.
“Even though the budget is about numbers,” he said, adding “It is about people… It is about the values”.
Earlier today another Australian pensioner, Vilma tore strips off Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the budget on Channel Ten. The video is here.
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