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Surprisingly enough, the image of a bureaucratic fat cat literally puffing on a big fat cigar before preparing to screw over the little guy has not gone down very well the public at large.
Ahead of next week’s federal budget, which promises massive across-the-board cuts and a rise in the pension age to 70, Treasurer Joe Hockey took a cigar break outside Parliament House with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. A plucky Channel 9 cameraman was there to capture this moment, which has now been immortalised and viciously parodied across Twitter and the rest of the internet.
“There’s nothing like the satisfying flavour of other people’s homes and dreams going up in smoke,” said political commentator Jane Caro, and her words instantly became a meme, because the internet has a way of doing that. The image has become emblematic of a growing mistrust of Tony Abbott‘s government as the next budget looms.
A Fairfax poll, conducted yesterday, showed that support for the Liberal National coalition has fallen following Abbot’s announcement that he plans to raise the retirement age to 70. Their primary vote now sits at 38%, with the ALP’s primary vote slightly higher at 40%. Wow, who would’ve thought that telling people they must now work until they reach an advanced stage of decrepitude  would not go down well?
(By the way, Labour, you’re not weaseling your way out of this one looking like the good guys – we all remember when you pulled a similar stunt back in 2009).
Abbott’s planned levy on high income earners has taken a pounding in the press this week, but surprisingly, 54% of those surveyed by Fairfax said they support the move, with 63% of coalition voters backing it. Even though the levy breaks Abbott’s election promise not to raise existing taxes or introduce new ones, those who supported him anyway support it because #yolo, I guess.
Via News Limited

Image via Channel 9