If Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first budget was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the sequel seems from most media coverage to be more like On Golden Pond. Wealthy retirees were one of the few groups to take a hit, but you would suspect that losing a part pension is far less concerning than a big hit to superannuation concessions, the elephant that remains undisturbed in the corner, happily munching through billions in foregone tax revenue. Is superannuation going to be one of the very few contested areas of policy at the next election? Or will the Opposition bottle it? Paid parental leave was the only other major “bad news” story out of the budget, with a fairly large reversal from the original Abbott government view of PPL being a salary-related benefit to now a “one size fits all” welfare payment.
The media coverage was all over the place, with some claiming it was a ‘Labor lite’ budget, others praising it for having far better designed policy measures than last time, while some accused it of fiddling at the edges while fiscal Rome burns. All– all-in-all probably the expected mixed response, again, unlike last time.
And finally, the new sport-loving, multicultural, progressive professional focused (did he even mention the environment?) leader of the Greens, the previously very low profile Richard Di Natale, jumps up the list, his fellow Victorian and former deputy Adam Bandt the loser in the quick and decisive change.
Crikey Political Index: May 7-13
It was neck and neck on social media as well as the professional outlets, Joe Hockey just scraping ahead of Tony Abbott, but without massive numbers for either. The next few weeks will be the real test.
Social Media Top Five
On talkback, a lot of Joe Hockey’s calls are from this morning, with a mixed response, but earlier in the week the new Greens leader copped some stick for being …well, the new Greens leader.
Talkback Top Five
We’ll now be exclusively covering members of the royal family in the celebrity comparison, because really, they are all anyone wants to talk about, right? Prince Harry actually got more coverage this week than his niece’s birth last week. Why? Why not!
Comparison of media mentions