Originally published in The Canberra Times on August 15, 2014

The hypocrisy of Joe Hockey’s call for big business to make the case for his economic reforms is breathtaking. His government’s signature economic ”reform” was to rip up a perfectly good carbon tax. The Prime Minister and Treasurer rightly bet that business groups would sit silently by while this populist policy destruction took place. But having successfully backed business to keep their heads down during one heated economic debate, the Treasurer is now criticising them for doing exactly that on his savage budget.

Why would a chief executive take time out of their schedule to enrage their customers by supporting savage cuts to health and welfare? Myer shareholders paid a hefty price when chief executive Bernie Brookes wandered into politics to slam the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Can you imagine the heads of Coles, Woolworths and the Commonwealth Bank coming out to say ”on behalf of multimillionaire CEOs, we would like to support Joe Hockey’s call to cut the age pension”? The Treasurer is dreaming.

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