This is Cesar Melhem whose reward will be great in Labor Upper House Heaven
A lovely story from a proud mum's speech at her son's wedding last Saturday night

This seems like painful steps in the right direction

Hockey flags severe welfare and spending cuts

The AFR - PHILLIP COOREY Chief political correspondent

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has warned that a Coalition government would implement drastic welfare and spending cuts and streamline government service delivery, but many of the details will not be finalised until after the federal election.

In a speech designed to put his own party on notice as much as the voting public, Mr Hockey built on a theme he outlined in London last year, saying “all developed countries are facing the end of the era of universal entitlement’’.

Mr Hockey, who was blocked by his shadow cabinet colleagues recently from supporting a Labor proposal to trim the baby bonus and deliver a $500 million structural saving, told the Institute of Public Affairs on Monday that “attacking spending” and “looking for structural saves’’ was increasingly urgent.

“The demographic pressures will only intensify over time, so if we can’t get control of the budget now, we never will,’’ he said.

Mr Hockey said the Coalition had already promised to abolish the $1.2 billion-a-year schoolkids bonus, a cash payment to families supposedly funded by the mining tax. But the bulk of the measures would emerge from the commission of audit the Coalition would conduct of the nation’s finances should it be elected.

Mr Hockey said there would be ­“genuine welfare reform to lift participation in work’’ and referred to previous Coalition election promises offering incentives and penalties to encourage people into work.

As Barry the chartist shows, the government's take from the economy has grown like topsy (that is as a percentage of GDP).   


It can't go on - and I reckon the world will survive without our department of climate change and the bulk of the immigration department's $8 billion in annual contracts.