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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Bill Shorten: Joe Hockey is an ‘arrogant, cigar-chomping’ treasurer | World news | theguardian.com

Bill Shorten: Joe Hockey is an ‘arrogant, cigar-chomping’ treasurer | World news | theguardian.com


Bill Shorten: Joe Hockey is an ‘arrogant, cigar-chomping’ treasurer




Hockey's ‘personal comfort in life has robbed him of charity, and, I might say, judgment’, says Labor leader



bill shorten
Bill Shorten made the comments in a strongly worded speech to the party's NSW conference. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images


Joe Hockey is an "arrogant, cigar-chomping" federal treasurer whose
charmed life has "robbed him of charity", the opposition leader, Bill
Shorten, says.


The Labor leader made the comments in a strongly worded speech to the party's NSW conference on Sunday.

"This
arrogant, cigar-chomping treasurer – his hopeless story [biography]
reveals that it took Tony Abbott to block him from deeper, harder cuts,"
Shorten said in Sydney's Town Hall.


"Seriously. If it's up to Tony Abbott to tell you that you've gone too far, you've well and truly gone too far."

Hockey
and finance minister Mathias Cormann were filmed smoking cigars outside
Parliament House shortly before the government's budget was delivered
in May. Their critics seized on the footage, saying it showed the
government was out of touch with everyday Australians facing deep budget
cuts.


In his speech, Shorten said the government was "unravelling from the centre and rotting from the top".

"This
is a budget brought to you by a conservative prime minister who doesn't
see it as his duty to care for everyone," he said. "By a conservative
treasurer whose personal comfort in life has robbed him of charity, and,
I might say, judgment."


Much of Shorten's speech focused on Labor's support for Medicare amid Tony Abbott's plan to impose a $7 Medicare co-payment.

He
said it was "madness" for Australia to adopt a United States-style
health system, just when Americans were "finally making a long and
exhausting U-turn".


On party reform, Shorten urged Labor to "rebuild as a party of members, not factions".

The
opposition leader has been calling on the ALP to change its rules so
that party members no longer be required also to be union members.


On
Saturday, the conference supported a plan to give ordinary members a
50% say on who becomes state Labor leader. But a plan from party elder
John Faulkner calling for direct elections for upper house candidates
was rejected.





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