Key crossbencher Senator John Madigan has questioned whether Treasurer Joe Hockey has empathy for less well off Australians after meeting with him last week to discuss the government’s unpopular budget.
Mr Hockey met with the Democratic Labour Party senator on Thursday as part of his campaign to woo the crossbench, with measures such as the GP co-payment, welfare and pension changes being held up in the upper house.
During the two hour meeting, Senator Madigan gave the treasurer two pages of suggestions on how he could make his budget fairer, saying he believed it would exacerbate social problems like domestic violence, vandalism and drug and alcohol abuse.
Senator Madigan said the treasurer had described himself as one of the most hated people in the country because of the budget.
“I empathise with him. He’s got a tough job,” he said.
“I wonder how much empathy he’s got for those people who are going to be hit hard by this budget.”