Sex line gran berates Aussie PM over budget

2014-05-21 11:46
Australia prime minister Tony Abbott. (Saeed Khan, AFP)

Australia prime minister Tony Abbott. (Saeed Khan, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was involved in heated exchanges with radio callers on Wednesday over his tough budget, including a pensioner who works on a sex phone line to pay the bills.

The conservative leader's first budget since coming to office last September took the axe to health and education spending while tightening welfare and family benefits in an attempt to slash the country's deficit.

It has been widely slammed as too harsh with students marching in protest around the country on Wednesday and Abbott forced to fend off furious criticism from members of the public in a media blitz as he attempts to sell it.

"Mr Abbott, I would like to ask you if you would like your mother or your grandmother to be in my situation?" asked one caller to a Melbourne radio station, called Gloria.

"I'm a 67-year-old pensioner with three chronic, incurable medical conditions, two life-threatening.

"I just survive on around $400 a fortnight after I pay my rent and I work on an adult sex line to make ends meet. That's the only way I can do it," she said.

'Treating us like idiots'

Video of the call showed Abbott winking at the presenter when the woman revealed she worked on a sex line, although his office claimed it was to signal that he was happy to proceed with the call.

"What do you suggest I cut out Mr Abbott? Food, electricity, firewood, Christmas and birthday presents to my grandchildren?" the woman added.

"Or should we all just die and get out of your way?"

Abbott responded that "I absolutely understand that you're doing it tough," before Gloria interrupted by saying: "But you don't give a stuff though do you?"

Another caller named Stella, a life-long supporter of Abbott's Liberal Party, accused him of treating the public like idiots.

"I accept if you need to do a harsh budget. What I cannot accept is myself and other intelligent voters being condescended to by politicians who won't answer a straight question ... It makes us feel that you're treating us like idiots," she said.

Abbott, whose popularity has plunged since the budget was handed down last week, according to opinion polls, has blamed the Labour opposition for leaving the country's finances in a mess and said hard decisions had to be make for the good of Australia.

"My job is not to curry popularity. My job is to do what's right for the country," he said.

As well as federal cuts of $46bn to health and $30bn to education over the next decade, a new tax will be levied on high earners, the pension age will rise to 70 by 2035 and people will have to pay a modest fee to visit the doctor.

Read more on:    tony abbott  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Spontaneity and bright ideas are emphasized today but there is a tendency to be too impulsive and you may want to keep a handle on...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.