If you were busy watching the Crikey Live Blog, then you might have missed the raucous tweeting about the federal Budget on Twitter. The Budget was a common topic for tweets and views ranged from anger to indifference and excitement.

Much of the rhetoric and dramatic language used by Treasurer Wayne Swan in his budget speech — like being “forged in the fire” and “tough times” — invoked ridicule from the tweeting masses.

  • Swanny: “we will fight the GFC on the beaches” — marksmithers
  • Hang on, what was that? Did you say ‘nation-building’? — michaelturtle

Twitter had a diverse range of Budget views. Even the WA Young Liberals tweeted:

  • most disastrous budget in the history of Aust! #swanfluWAULS

But that view was perhaps expected…

Many clearly viewed Rudd and Swan’s “Robin Hood” budget as a direct attack on the middle class.

  • Swan: The poor will be fed on the blood of the rich, it shall be piped into every home. — mikestuchbery

  • $219bil over 4 yrs and that’s coming off the back of surplus. Like this generation will ever pay that off. Bye bye fun hello glum — rob_mcclintock
  • I get the feeling that this government hates rich people. — jeanette_k
  • YUPPIE RAGE: Middle class will hate these cuts. Super, childcare…message to working families is don’t work too hard — penbo (aka David Penberthy)

And in the witty world of the twitterverse, #swanflu became a popular hash tag for Budget commentary with a definite anti-Labor twang.

  • In no hurry to enter the workforce now since a) I’ll get screwed in tax; and b) will be there until I’m 67.CharlotteCorday

Not to suggest that Twitter completely anti Swan’s budget. Many initiatives, such as cutting the first home owner’s scheme, paid parental leave and increases in pensions were popular.

  • Stoked that first home owners is getting phased out. Awful rip off for first time buyers. — willozap
  • Don’t have a job? Want a beer? Grandpa will have an extra $32/week in his pension. Might be his shout down at the RSL? individuum

Joe Hockey’s response to the Budget in his interview with Kerry O’Brien was also Twitter fodder.

  • Well, I hate to say it kiddoes, but Joe Hockey is making Wayne Swan sound like a blibbering idiot. I still love Kerry. pocketpenny
  • meh! Mr Hockey, they may spend recklessly, but your tax cuts to the rich in the boom times are a legacy we will never overcome — proquar

The majority of these tweets may have an anti-Swan slant, but is that just because conservative tweeters are funnier? Or maybe Labor supporters had better things to do than tweet about the Budget on a Tuesday night.

This morning the Budget is still a Twitter topic, although interest appears to be waning. In fact, many of the tweets were complaining more about the banality of the budget rather than voicing outrage or excitement over last night’s announcements.

  • RT @miafreedman: So much budget coverage. So little interest. [Agree. Totally predictable PR Hype screwing everyone over] — karenmorris

  • scrawling through pages and pages of budget rhetoric.. nathanwebb
  • At least when Swine Flu was all over the news there was a chance we would all die. Not so with the budget, unless it bores us to death — scottyftw

At least when the proposed fibre-to-the-home broadband is rolled out, people will be able to tweet even faster. A fact even the cynical Twitter masses must be excited about.

Peter Fray

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