“We’re a nation of battlers, Fran,” he said proudly, “and it’s pretty obvious that you can’t be a battler if you haven’t got a battle to fight. If things get too easy for the average family, what’s going to happen? They’ll lose their sense of national identity.”
“We all need to contribute, Fran; we all need to sacrifice. I’ve put a freeze on politicians’ pay rises just to show that I’m in the same boat as everyone else. My salary was due to rise from $496,000 to $505,500 this year and now… Nothing. I’m going to be sitting on $496,000 for the next 12 months. And it hurts. But I’ll tighten my belt. I’ll share the load. Because I’m an Australian, Fran; I’m a battler. And the harder I battle, the more Australian I am. Unlike Climate Change, it’s an obvious and proven correlation.”
When asked whether the cuts presented a more practical, financial concern for Aussie battlers, Abbott chuckled, in that understanding, good-natured way your mate might.
“Let’s get one thing straight: the people of Australia need hardship. They thrive on it. It’s what defines them as Australians. What Joe [Hockey] and I aimed for was to give the people of Australia the most Australian budget we possibly could. And I think we achieved that goal.”