Joe Hockey has been caught off guard with veteran reporter Laurie Oakes revealing the Treasurer was dancing to the tune ‘This Is The Best Day Of My Life’ in his office before delivering his federal budget.
Hockey was sombre when presenting his first budget, declaring he knew "for some people in the community this budget will not be easy".
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“We are a nation of lifters, not leaners,” he said, in a line borrowed from Robert Menzies. "The age of entitlement is over."
But he was forced to defend his actions immediately prior to the announcement of his wide-ranging cuts saying he had only danced because he was overjoyed at seeing his family after three weeks.
"Symbolism matters,” Oakes said. “The unemployed, the sick, welfare recipients, they're not going to be dancing are they?"
"No, they're not," Hockey replied. "(But) it is the best day for Australia... Because we are actually getting on with the job of building a stronger nation."
Under Hockey's budget cuts will be made to health and education spending as well as savings measures imposed upon age pensioners, seniors concession card holders, families on government payments and people on the disability support pension.
But major investments will be made in both infrastructure and health research and young Australians will be able to seek funding for a wider range of study courses.
"This is the biggest medical research fund of its kind in the world," Hockey said. "Which will make a difference to our children's lives."
"Maybe we'll find the cure to cancer, or dementia or alzheimers. And Australians have the chance to do that.
" You say why were you dancing...the fact is we're getting on with the job and giving my children and other people's children a chance at a better life.
"This is a build budget as well, focusing on infrastructure…from our perspective it's hugely important that we build a stronger nation, that we focus on the opportunities that are ahead.”