Abbott knows what it is to have your pay significantly decreased and experience ‘mortgage stress’ when in 2007 the election of the Rudd Government created serious mortgage stress for the former Howard government ministers!” he said at the time.
Abbott said, “You don’t just lose power … you certainly lose income as well, and if you are reliant on your parliamentary salary for your daily living, obviously it makes a big difference.”
Annabel Crabb wrote that ‘Mr Abbott was notoriously knocked-around by his change of circumstance, which obliged him to take out a $700,000 mortgage on his northern beaches home, and fostered a period of gloom and introspection in which he remained mired for more than a year.’
So when Hockey and Abbott talk down the impact of a decrease in pay, they should lead by example. Crabb noted how politicians reacted when Kevin Rudd enacted a ‘salary freeze for all politicians in early 2008’ was not received as an opportunity to show solidarity with those who faced possible or actual compromised salary due to the impact of the global financial crisis, but instead was held with ‘bipartisan loathing’ and Abbott bemoaned how it was “all very well for politicians who have other sources of income or who have very high income from their spouses”.
Peter Hartcher wants to see leadership in the current milieu by ‘leading debate and setting policy’ which are the work of the treasurer and the prime minister’. It is up to Hockey to navigate the nation’s financial territory and manage employment in the mix of his responsibilities to supply the jobs for people to earn a livelihood. ‘Australia’s economic future depends on Hockey. Is he up to it? We are about to find out.’