Australians Show Disagreement With Abbott Budget Thru March in May Protests; Premiers Vow to Inflict Maximum Political Pain to PM
By Vittorio Hernandez | May 19, 2014 8:31 AM EST
The deficit tax and other unpopular measures introduced by the Coalition government are proving to be the Julia Gillard moment of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The PM, who is only eight months in power, was the subject of the March in May protests held over the weekend.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) talks to a guest during a lunch meeting in Shanghai April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Thousands in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth let their negative sentiment about the federal budget, unveiled on Tuesday, be known, particularly their dislike for the healthcare and education cuts, treatment of refugees, the environment, pension and especially the deficit tax.
The Sydney protest estimated to have swelled into 10,000 residents who converged at Belmore Park near Central and went through George Street and proceeded to Victoria Park near Broadway to hold the rally.
At the heart of the Aussie's anger is their belief that Mr Abbott lied to the country when he promised during the campaign that the Coalition would not increase taxes.
Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt captured the indignation of Australians when he said at the protest in Melbourne, "No one voted for this budget. [Tony Abbott] lied his way to power. Tony Abbott has rounded on us. It takes guts and courage to stand up to the powerful and wealthy but a coward to take an axe to the young, the sick and the poor."
Portrayed as a Pinnochio - or the Disney character made of wood whose nose grew longer every time he told a lie - in a protest banner in Swanton St., Melbourne, Mr Abbott would also need to meet angry state premiers. The premiers, except Colin Barnett from Western Australia, met on Sunday in Sydney to demand a meeting with the embattled PM to discuss the controversial budget cuts.
Besides the wooden boy who frequently life, Mr Abbott was also portrayed as a lizard, male sex organ and Lord of the Rings character Gollum by the crowd who attended the rally in Victoria.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said that the premiers will inflict maximum political pain on Mr Abbott unless he reverses the $80 billion budget cuts which they said is completely unacceptable.
He added that premiers would rally voters against the cuts and the Abbott government, saying, "We can explain to people the depth of these $80 billion cuts, the effect that they're going to have on people getting quality health care or get a quality education for your children."
"And we'll cause the maximum amount of political pain possible for federal Liberal government so that they change their mind," Weatherill told ABC Radio on Monday.
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