It was Joe Hockey’s week in the sun, with the release of his first federal budget.
Treasurer Joe Hockey only just pipped Prime Minister Tony Abbott for media coverage overall in his star week of the year. Abbott was still clearly ahead on radio generally and talkback specifically, with most of the “promise-breaking” being linked to the PM rather than the Treasurer by punters. Nevertheless it was Hockey’s week, pressing on with the “age of entitlement” and “sharing the pain” themes. Abbott tried to focus on the cuts to politicians perks to deflect claims of deceit, focusing on “fundamental promises”.
Further down the list, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison had a big jump with the announcement of the Australian Border Force (that’s ABF, just a slightly different consonant sound away from ADF) that will encompass Customs and all of the current asylum seeker related functions of the Immigration Department, as the department contributed over $2 billion of cuts to the budget, largely owing to the closure of detention centres as boats have been stopped from reaching Australian territory.
Fairfax MP Clive Palmer is back into the top 10 as well, so far committing to block just about anything remotely unpopular from the budget. It is going to be an interesting dynamic in Canberra come July.
Crikey Political Index: May 8-14
Abbott remained dominant on talkback, and the callers were close to neutral, many backing a “tough” budget and spending cuts, although the deficit levy remained unpopular.
Talkback Top Five
Lower level for Abbott this week and Hockey closing in fast. Finance Minister Matthias Cormann has been sharing some of the love of the twittersphere, while Immigration Minister Scott Morrison still hasn’t quite been forgotten.
Social Media Top Five
Meanwhile, in the really important news of the week, Beyoncé’s sister doesn’t like Beyoncé’s husband. Hugs all round.