Between defections, elections and the budget, there was plenty of news to occupy political junkies this week.
The daily drip feed of potential budget nasties is continuing, as the government seems to be trying to both road test its list of cuts and new taxes (sorry, temporary levies) and take some heat out of the actual sting on budget night. As we heard of pension age increases, Medicare co-payments and even a public school levy, Treasurer Joe Hockey’s media coverage headed over the 10,000 item mark. Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen leapt into the Top 20 following a long stint on the sidelines, as he pushed the line that it was all a fake budget emergency to justify broken promises.
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer was the other new player in the top five, as three disaffected indigenous CLP politicians in the Northern Territory joined his party. Former Labor minister Alison Anderson now on her third party since entering the NT parliament. Clive was also quick to attack a number of the floated budget cuts and the government’s Direct Action plans, which were finally released by Environment Minister Greg Hunt late last Thursday just before the Anzac long weekend — you’d almost think they were trying to hide it?
Serial litigator Palmer also vowed to sue Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for his claim that Palmer had “bought” his party’s seats in parliament. Newman also had plenty to say about the CLP defections, pushing him up past Denis Napthine to be second most-mentioned premier behind NSW newbie Mike Baird.
Crikey Political Index: April 24-30
Joe Hockey is not the most liked person among talkback callers at the moment, unlike Clive Palmer — although he isn’t quite getting universal praise either, with some questioning his ultimate motives.
Talkback top five
While it may not have got much play in the professional media, the Direct Action plans were noticed by the twitterati, who continue to be less than impressed.
Social media top five
Apologies, I have absolutely no idea who this person is, but I believe he won a very prestigious cultural prize this week. So congratulations!