Tony Abbott doesn't much care about the environment, climate change, sharks, and asylum-seekers. His new federal budget suggests he doesn't care much for Australians, either. His federal budget for 2014 slashes funding for healthcare, education, social welfare programs, and the arts.
Many Australians are pissed. Protest marches are happening across the country, which you can follow on Twitter using the hashtags #MarchinMay and #bustthebudget. Father Rod Bower, a reverend in the Anglican Parish of Gosford, became an internet sensation when he started criticizing Abbott on his church's old-timey, moveable-letter, 50-character roadside announcement board.
And now there's Gloria.
Gloria called into ABC radio on the morning of May 20. Abbott was there taking calls, most of them about his new budget. What happened next is pretty upsetting.
Gloria explained her situation to Abbott.
“I would like to ask you if you would like your mother or your grandmother to be in my situation," she said. "I’m a 67-year-old pensioner, three chronic incurable medical conditions, two life threatening. I just survive on $400 a fortnight, after I pay my rent, and I work on an adult sex line to make ends meet, that’s the only way I can do it.”
Abbott's response to her struggles?
A smirk and a wink.
Ignore the fact that people are suffering and that budget cuts have dangerous consequences for the most at-risk populations. Did you hear what she said? "Adult sex line." Smirk. Wink.
The exchange doesn't get much better after that.